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Table 3 Key Elements to Report for Simulation-Based Research

From: Reporting guidelines for health care simulation research: extensions to the CONSORT and STROBE statements

Elementsa Subelementsb Descriptor
Participant orientation Orientation to the simulator Describe how participants were oriented to the simulator (e.g., method, content, duration).
  Orientation to the environment Describe how participants were oriented to the environment (e.g., method, content, duration).
Simulator type [16] Simulator make and model Describe the simulator make and model.
  Simulator functionality Describe functionality and/or technical specifications that are relevant to the research question. Describe modifications, if any. Describe limitations of the simulator.
Simulation environment [16] Location Describe where the simulation was conducted (e.g., in situ clinical environment, simulation center, etc.).
  Equipment Describe the nature of the equipment available (e.g., type, amount, location, size, etc.).
  External stimuli Describe any external stimuli (e.g., background noise).
Simulation event/scenario [16] Event description Describe if the event was programmed and/or scripted (e.g., orientation to event, scenario progression, triggers). If a scenario was used, the scenario script should be provided as an appendix.
  Learning objectives List the learning objectives and describe how they were incorporated into the event.
  Group vs. individual practice Describe if the simulation was conducted in groups or as individuals.
  Use of adjuncts Describe if adjuncts (e.g., moulage, media, props) were used.
  Facilitator/operator characteristics Describe experience (e.g., clinical, educational), training (e.g., fellowship, courses), profession.
  Pilot testing Describe if pilot testing was conducted (e.g., number, duration, frequency).
  Actors/confederates/standardized/simulated patients [16] Describe experience (e.g., clinical, educational), training (e.g., fellowship, courses), profession, sex. Describe various roles, including training, scripting, orientation, and compliance with roles.
Instructional design (for educational interventions) [53] or exposure (for simulation as investigative methodology) [16] Duration Describe the duration of the educational intervention. If the intervention involves more than one segment, describe the duration of each segment.
Timing Describe the timing of the educational intervention relative to the time when assessment/data collection occurs (e.g., just-in-time training).
Frequency/repetitions Describe how many repetitions were permitted and/or the frequency of training (e.g., deliberate practice).
Clinical variation Describe the variation in clinical context (e.g., multiple different patient scenarios).
Standards/assessment Describe predefined standards for participant performance (e.g., mastery learning) and how these standards were established.
Adaptability of intervention Describe how the training was responsive to individual learner needs (e.g., individualized learning).
Range of difficulty Describe the variation in difficulty or complexity of the task.
Nonsimulation interventions and adjuncts Describe all other nonsimulation interventions (e.g., lecture, small group discussion) or educational adjuncts (e.g., educational video), how they were used, and when they were used relative to the simulation intervention.
Integration Describe how the intervention was integrated into curriculum.
Feedback and/or debriefing [11] Source Describe the source of feedback (e.g., computer, simulator, facilitator).
Duration Describe the amount of time spent.
Facilitator presence Describe if a facilitator was present (yes/no), and if so, how many facilitators.
Facilitator characteristics Describe experience (e.g., clinical, educational), training (e.g., fellowship, courses), profession, sex.
Content Describe content (e.g., teamwork, clinical, technical skills, and/or inclusion of quantitative data, etc.).
Structure/method Describe the method of debriefing/feedback and debriefing framework used (ie, phases).
Timing Describe when the feedback and/or debriefing was conducted relative to the simulation event (e.g., terminal vs. concurrent).
Video Describe if video was used (yes/no) and how it was used.
Scripting Describe if a script was used (yes/no) and provide script details as an appendix.
  1. aThese elements may apply for the simulation intervention (e.g., randomized controlled trial or observational study with simulation as an educational intervention) or when simulation is the environment for research (e.g., randomized controlled trial or observational study using simulation as an investigative methodology). Elements should be described in sufficient detail to permit replication
  2. bDescription is required only if applicable