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Pediatrics. 2014 Jun;133(6):1091-101. doi: 10.1542/peds.2013-3267. Epub 2014 May 12.

Designing and conducting simulation-based research.

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University of Calgary, Section of Emergency Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, Alberta Children's Hospital;
Department of Pediatrics, Section of Emergency Medicine, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut;
Departments of Anesthesiology, Critical Care Medicine and Pediatrics, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland;
Division of Emergency Medicine, Children's Hospital Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California;
Office of Medical Education, Division of Educational Informatics, New York University School of Medicine, New York, New York;
Division of Anesthesia and Critical Care Medicine, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and.
Department of Pediatrics, Division of Pediatric Emergency Medicine, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, New York.


As simulation is increasingly used to study questions pertaining to pediatrics, it is important that investigators use rigorous methods to conduct their research. In this article, we discuss several important aspects of conducting simulation-based research in pediatrics. First, we describe, from a pediatric perspective, the 2 main types of simulation-based research: (1) studies that assess the efficacy of simulation as a training methodology and (2) studies where simulation is used as an investigative methodology. We provide a framework to help structure research questions for each type of research and describe illustrative examples of published research in pediatrics using these 2 frameworks. Second, we highlight the benefits of simulation-based research and how these apply to pediatrics. Third, we describe simulation-specific confounding variables that serve as threats to the internal validity of simulation studies and offer strategies to mitigate these confounders. Finally, we discuss the various types of outcome measures available for simulation research and offer a list of validated pediatric assessment tools that can be used in future simulation-based studies.


education; pediatric; research; simulation; study design

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