Just another debrief? Recruiting for an in situ simulation study

In Study by Victoria BrazilLeave a Comment

We know that the shared reflective experience during simulation promotes transfer of lessons back to the workplace. Debriefing achieves improved operational performance across a range of fields, including outside healthcare.1 Most guidance on debriefing strategies comes from theoretical frameworks developed within and outside healthcare, and from educationally-focused simulation.2–5 An exploration of self-reported expert debriefing practice revealed that factors such as values and artistry may be as important as specific techniques.6 Important topics like structure, techniques, the use of scripts, creating and maintaining psychological safety have been researched and discussed in journals, social media and in formal courses.

In Situ Simulation

There is increasing use of ‘in situ’ simulation (ISS) – simulation conducted in the actual care environment – as a healthcare simulation modality. ISS supports teamwork training, process improvement, and the identification of environmental safety threats or care systems within real clinical environments.7,8

Optimal debriefing strategies for ISS remain unclear, and current practice has not been reviewed systematically. Most published reports of ISS programs lack detail as to how debriefing is conducted. How expert and experienced in situ debriefers adapt their practice for this context has not been previously reported, nor have measures of effectiveness been developed or tested.

Identification of effective debriefing strategies to optimize the integration of care would have implications for design of in situ simulation programs, faculty development for simulation educators and could inform further research questions related to measures of debriefing effectiveness.

The in situ simulation study – We need your help!

Along with my colleagues Walter Eppich and Margaret Bearman, I am conducting a research investigation into debriefing in in-situ simulation (ISS). This study aims to review the current practice of experienced in situ simulation debriefers – their context and approach, and the basis on which debriefing approach is determined. If you are someone with experience of in situ simulation debriefing (ie in the real clinical environment, rather than skills lab), we’d like to invite you to participate in a survey based study, with an option to also participate in a subsequent interview.

Sign up for the Simulation Debriefing Study

We need your help!

Click here to enrol

If you are interested, please click the button above to provide your details for study recruitment or write an email to [email protected]


Tannenbaum S, Cerasoli C. Do team and individual debriefs enhance performance? A meta-analysis. Hum Factors. 2013;55(1):231-245. [PubMed]
Cheng A, Eppich W, Grant V, Sherbino J, Zendejas B, Cook D. Debriefing for technology-enhanced simulation: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Med Educ. 2014;48(7):657-666. [PubMed]
Cheng A, Grant V, Dieckmann P, Arora S, Robinson T, Eppich W. Faculty Development for Simulation Programs: Five Issues for the Future of Debriefing Training. Simul Healthc. 2015;10(4):217-222. [PubMed]
Eppich W, Cheng A. Promoting Excellence and Reflective Learning in Simulation (PEARLS): development and rationale for a blended approach to health care simulation debriefing. Simul Healthc. 2015;10(2):106-115. [PubMed]
Sawyer T, Eppich W, Brett-Fleegler M, Grant V, Cheng A. More Than One Way to Debrief: A Critical Review of Healthcare Simulation Debriefing Methods. Simul Healthc. 2016;11(3):209-217. [PubMed]
Krogh K, Bearman M, Nestel D. “Thinking on your feet”—a qualitative study of debriefing practice. Adv Simul. 2016;1(1). doi: 10.1186/s41077-016-0011-4
Guise J, Mladenovic J. In situ simulation: identification of systems issues. Semin Perinatol. 2013;37(3):161-165. [PubMed]
Rosen M, Hunt E, Pronovost P, Federowicz M, Weaver S. In situ simulation in continuing education for the health care professions: a systematic review. J Contin Educ Health Prof. 2012;32(4):243-254. [PubMed]
Victoria Brazil
Victoria Brazil is an emergency physician and the Director of Simulation at Bond University's Faculty of Health Sciences and Medicine at the Gold Coast, Australia. She is one of the voices of Simulcast.
Victoria Brazil