Role and Effectiveness of Simulation-based Training in Raising Family Medicine Residents’ Clinical Resuscitation and Critical Care Skills

Background: Family medicine (FM) physicians are bound to providing healthcare services at a variety of clinical and community settings. They should be equipped to competently handle health emergencies in a multitude of professional procedures. Medical education on patients often raises safety issues; simulation-based medical education (SBME) was a solution enabling education in a risk free environment.

Aim: To analyze the impact of a SBME on Family medicine residents’ performance in critical resuscitation procedures.

Methods: A systematic review of published articles between 1996 and 2016 was conducted. Systematized literature search through ranked search engines was done. All original research articles on SBME published between 1997 and 2012 were examined.

Results: The analysis included 6 relevant studies selected. The studies’ venues included either academic or healthcare settings in Netherlands, Switzerland; Greece, and Canada. The studies’ populations were mainly family medicine, and general practitioner, residents who participated in simulated resuscitation/life support educational activities. The number of participants in each SBME activity ranged between 28 and 72. The study of the Greek experiment included 434 residents. An interventional design was advocated, and a self-reported questionnaire to evaluate participants’ skills pursuant to SBME activities before and/or after the learning activities was unanimously utilized. The main SBME focus involved patient resuscitation and critical event care. Most studies came to significantly positive conclusions about SBME in raising residents’ resuscitation knowledge, skill, and behavior.

Conclusions: The role of interactive SBM teaching in preparing FM residents to rescuing and resuscitating the critically ill independently is now sufficiently evident. Despite such success potential, methods to achieve improved critical care competence advocating low cost simulated medical education solutions in low economic circumstances should be sought.

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