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CHEST 2011: Embargoed studies highlight new simulation education research

Emotional Distress May Impair Medical Student Learning Capabilities
(#1112887, Tuesday, October 25, 5:30 PM Eastern)

New research suggests that emotional distress during simulation education may have negative effects on learning. Researchers at the University of Calgary, AB, Canada used a mannequin during a simulated medical exercise involving final year medical students to study the impact of the "death" of the "patient" during a procedure. Students (n=116) were randomly assigned to one of two groups, death (D) or no death (ND) of the mannequin, in the final moments of the simulation. A 20-minute debriefing focusing on the core objectives for the case followed the exercise. Following the debriefing, students completed an emotional state assessment and an evaluation of cognitive load. Three months later, these students had a follow-up examination with altered level of consciousness as part of their scheduled summative clerkship exam. The students from group D reported being more nervous, upset, sad, and depressed, and they experienced a higher cognitive load than the ND group. The students from group ND were significantly more likely to pass the exam than the students from group D, whose abilities were impaired. This study demonstrated that emotional distress during simulation increases cognitive load past a point that is optimal for learning.

ACLS Resident Simulation Training Does Not Affect Real Patient Outcomes
(#1109051, Wednesday, October 26, 5:30 PM Eastern)

A blinded, randomized pilot study involving 103 second- and third-year internal medicine residents analyzed how standardized resident simulation training correlates with real patient outcomes in advanced cardiac life support (ACLS) performance. Researchers from Grady Memorial Hospital, in Atlanta, Georgia divided the residents into two groups whose performance was evaluated throughout the academic year. One group underwent normal experiential learning and the other underwent abbreviated standardized simulation training. The researchers found that ACLS simulation training had no meaningful effect on clinical outcomes.

EBUS Simulation Can Complement Skills
(#1109091, Wednesday, October 26, 5:00 PM Eastern)

Bronchoscopy simulation is an effective learning tool for basic and advanced bronchoscopy procedures including endobronchial ultrasound (EBUS)-guided transbronchial needle aspiration. Researchers from across Canada conducted a study designed to compare wet lab simulation and computer-based simulation models to measure the effectiveness of each kind of EBUS instruction. The computer simulator group performed significantly better on the standardized EBUS than did the wet lab group. In reality, the wet lab does not replicate human airway and mediastinal anatomy, whereas actual biopsy performance is similar to what subjects found in simulation. However, all subjects felt that wet lab and computer EBUS simulation each were valuable and provided important complementary learning opportunities.


Contact: Sue Roberts
American College of Chest Physicians

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