Effect of Computer Debriefing on Acquisition and Retention of Learning After Screen-Based Simulation of Neonatal Resuscitation: Randomized Controlled Trial

JMIR Serious Games. 2020 Aug 11;8(3):e18633. doi: 10.2196/18633.


Background: Debriefing is key in a simulation learning process.

Objective: This study focuses on the impact of computer debriefing on learning acquisition and retention after a screen-based simulation training on neonatal resuscitation designed for midwifery students.

Methods: Midwifery students participated in 2 screen-based simulation sessions, separated by 2 months, session 1 and session 2. They were randomized in 2 groups. Participants of the debriefing group underwent a computer debriefing focusing on technical skills and nontechnical skills at the end of each scenario, while the control group received no debriefing. In session 1, students participated in 2 scenarios of screen-based simulation on neonatal resuscitation. During session 2, the students participated in a third scenario. The 3 scenarios had an increasing level of difficulty, with the first representing the baseline level. Assessments included a knowledge questionnaire on neonatal resuscitation, a self-efficacy rating, and expert evaluation of technical skills as per the Neonatal Resuscitation Performance Evaluation (NRPE) score and of nontechnical skills as per the Anaesthetists' Non-Technical Skills (ANTS) system. We compared the results of the groups using the Mann-Whitney U test.

Results: A total of 28 midwifery students participated in the study. The participants from the debriefing group reached higher ANTS scores than those from the control group during session 1 (13.25 vs 9; U=47.5; P=.02). Their scores remained higher, without statistical difference during session 2 (10 vs 7.75; P=.08). The debriefing group had higher self-efficacy ratings at session 2 (3 vs 2; U=52; P=.02). When comparing the knowledge questionnaires, the significant baseline difference (13 for debriefing group vs 14.5 for control group, P=.05) disappeared at the end of session 1 and in session 2. No difference was found for the assessment of technical skills between the groups or between sessions.

Conclusions: Computer debriefing seems to improve nontechnical skills, self-efficacy, and knowledge when compared to the absence of debriefing during a screen-based simulation. This study confirms the importance of debriefing after screen-based simulation.

Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT03844009; https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT03844009.

Keywords: debriefing; medical education; midwifery; neonatal; neonatal resuscitation; screen-based simulation; simulation.

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT03844009