Human factors in resuscitation teaching

Resuscitation. 2012 Apr;83(4):423-7. doi: 10.1016/j.resuscitation.2011.11.001. Epub 2011 Nov 25.


Introduction: There is an increasing interest in human factors within the healthcare environment reflecting the understanding of their impact on safety. The aim of this paper is to explore how human factors might be taught on resuscitation courses, and improve course outcomes in terms of improved mortality and morbidity for patients. The delivery of human factors training is important and this review explores the work that has been delivered already and areas for future research and teaching.

Method: Medline was searched using MESH terms Resuscitation as a Major concept and Patient or Leadership as core terms. The abstracts were read and 25 full length articles reviewed.

Results: Critical incident reporting has shown four recurring problems: lack of organisation at an arrest, lack of equipment, non functioning equipment, and obstructions preventing good care. Of these, the first relates directly to the concept of human factors. Team dynamics for both team membership and leadership, management of stress, conflict and the role of debriefing are highlighted. Possible strategies for teaching them are discussed.

Conclusions: Four strategies for improving human factors training are discussed: team dynamics (including team membership and leadership behaviour), the influence of stress, debriefing, and conflict within teams. This review illustrates how human factor training might be integrated further into life support training without jeopardising the core content and lengthening the courses.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Competence
  • Communication
  • Computer Simulation
  • Cooperative Behavior
  • Female
  • Heart Arrest / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Interprofessional Relations
  • Leadership*
  • Male
  • Patient Care Team / organization & administration*
  • Patient Safety*
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic / standards
  • Resuscitation / education*
  • Resuscitation / methods
  • Risk Factors
  • Safety Management