Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Computer Based Simulation Training for Non-Technical Skills Training and Knowledge in Postgraduate Medical Education



Introduction: The increase in simulation training across the range of medical education offers a potential route to train non-technical skills and knowledge. More recently, there has been a move towards the use of computer based, including virtual reality, simulation. However, studies evaluating the efficacy of computer based simulation training have used inconsistent methodology, limiting the capacity to construct an overview.
The goal of this study is to systematically review the existing literature and carry out a meta-analysis of the existing randomised controlled trials, evaluating the efficacy of computer based simulation on non-technical skills and knowledge, with sub analysis between doctors in training and those in continuing medical education.
Methods: A scoping search identified the relevant search terms, followed by a comprehensive database search of literature from 2007 until the present on MEDLINE, PubMed, CINHAL, ERIC, BEI, PsychINFO, Proquest Dissertations & Theses and Educational Abstracts databases with hand searching the table of contents of major medical education journals. The inclusion criteria were randomised controlled trials for the meta-analysis and cohort studies for the systematic review, with subjects being postgraduate doctors using a computer based simulation for training and education.
Results: This review found evidence to support the utilisation of computer based simulation for nontechnical skills and knowledge and understanding domains.
Discussion: Using computer based simulation offers an opportunity to enhance non-technical aspects of practicing doctors in a safe and effective manner. More high quality controlled studies are required to enable the demarcation of training boundaries.


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