Examining pediatric resuscitation education using simulation and scripted debriefing: A multicenter randomized trial

Adam Cheng, Elizabeth A. Hunt, Aaron Donoghue, Kristen Nelson-McMillan, Akira Nishisaki, Judy LeFlore, Walter Eppich, Mike Moyer, Marisa Brett-Fleegler, Monica Kleinman, Jo Dee Anderson, Mark Adler, Matthew Braga, Susanne Kost, Glenn Stryjewski, Steve Min, John Podraza, Joseph Lopreiato, Melinda Fiedor Hamilton, Kimberly StoneJennifer Reid, Jeffrey Hopkins, Jennifer Manos, Jonathan Duff, Matthew Richard, Vinay M. Nadkarni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

100 Scopus citations


Importance: Resuscitation training programs use simulation and debriefing as an educational modality with limited standardization of debriefing format and content. Our study attempted to address this issue by using a debriefing script to standardize debriefings. Objective: To determine whether use of a scripted debriefing by novice instructors and/or simulator physical realism affects knowledge and performance in simulated cardiopulmonary arrests. Design: Prospective, randomized, factorial study design. Setting: The study was conducted from 2008 to 2011 at 14 Examining Pediatric Resuscitation Education Using Simulation and Scripted Debriefing (EXPRESS) network simulation programs. Interprofessional health care teams participated in 2 simulated cardiopulmonary arrests, before and after debriefing. Participants: Werandomized 97 participants (23 teams) to nonscripted low-realism; 93 participants (22 teams) to scripted low-realism; 103 participants (23 teams) to nonscripted high-realism; and 94 participants (22 teams) to scripted high-realism groups. Intervention: Participants were randomized to 1 of 4 arms: permutations of scripted vs nonscripted debriefing and high-realism vs low-realism simulators. Main Outcomes and Measures: Percentage difference (0%-100%) in multiple choice question (MCQ) test (individual scores), Behavioral Assessment Tool (BAT) (team leader performance), and the Clinical Performance Tool (CPT) (team performance) scores postintervention vs preintervention comparison (PPC). Results: There was no significant difference at baseline in nonscripted vs scripted groups for MCQ(P =.87), BAT (P =.99), and CPT (P =.95) scores. Scripted debriefing showed greater improvement in knowledge (mean [95% CI] MCQ-PPC, 5.3% [4.1%-6.5%] vs 3.6% [2.3%-4.7%]; P =.04) and team leader behavioral performance (median [interquartile range (IQR)] BAT-PPC, 16% [7.4%-28.5%] vs 8% [0.2%-31.6%]; P =.03). Their improvement in clinical performance during simulated cardio-pulmonary arrests was not significantly different (median [IQR] CPT-PPC, 7.9% [4.8%-15.1%] vs 6.7% [2.8%-12.7%], P =.18). Level of physical realism of the simulator had no independent effect on these outcomes. Conclusions and Relevance: The use of a standardized script by novice instructors to facilitate team debriefings improves acquisition of knowledge and team leader behavioral performance during subsequent simulated cardiopulmonary arrests. Implementation of debriefing scripts in resuscitation courses may help to improve learning outcomes and standardize delivery of debriefing, particularly for novice instructors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)528-536
Number of pages9
JournalJAMA pediatrics
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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