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Cultural considerations in debriefing: a systematic review of the literature


Background Conversations are influenced by cultural perceptions, beliefs and values. Debriefing is a learning conversation. Without cross-cultural engagement or culturally relevant teaching, learning may be compromised and may result in an outcome opposite of that intended.

Objective This systematic review explores cultural considerations in healthcare simulation debriefing. We sought to explore findings that could help debriefers create culturally responsive and inclusive debriefings.

Study selection Studies were included if they were peer-reviewed articles in any language and focused on healthcare simulation debriefing and global cultural considerations. Research study methods included qualitative, quantitative or both. The review included any health-related profession and level of learner.

Findings Three studies met the criteria. The purposes of the three studies were significantly different and did not directly study cultural considerations in debriefing.

Conclusions The learner–educator relationship is at risk and learning may be negatively impacted without addressing cultural awareness. More studies are needed to fully describe the effect of culture on successful debriefing.

  • debriefing
  • systematic review
  • communication
  • simulation faculty
  • faculty development

Data availability statement

Data are available upon reasonable request. All data relevant to the study are included in the article or uploaded as supplementary information. The data are in a Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School protected dropbox managed by the corresponding author (JCP).

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