Testing the effectiveness of peer facilitated debriefing following high fidelity simulation




Dufrene, Claudine

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While debriefing following simulation is the standard practice in nursing education, its effectiveness has not been adequately studied. Few studies have been found examining the effectiveness of different debriefing processes. The aim of this study was to examine if baccalaureate nursing students in a prelicensure program who participate in student facilitated debriefing following high fidelity simulation versus students who participate in faculty facilitated debriefing achieve comparable learning outcomes as measured by scores on a HESI© custom examination.

A two-group post-test only experimental design was used with 182 senior nursing students to examine the effectiveness of peer facilitated debriefing following simulation. Students were randomly assigned to experimental and control groups, then participated in a stroke simulation scenario followed by either faculty facilitated or peer facilitated debriefing. Participation in the post-test, a custom HESI® exam, was voluntary. A demographic form was used to collect data on age, gender, and ethnicity of students. Descriptive statistics were run on the demographic data using the Statistical Package for the Social Science (SPSS) version 18. An independent t-test was conducted to compare the examination scores between the two groups. The level of significance was set to an alpha of 0.01 for a two-tailed directional test.

Results of learning outcomes indicated no significant differences in HESI exam scores between the peer debriefed and faculty debriefed groups[ t(180) = .152, p = .88, two-tailed]. Both groups of students were similar in gender, race and age and were primarily female Caucasians in their late 20's (mean age=27).

Additional research examining student outcomes following different methods of debriefing and the use of peer leaders in the laboratory setting are recommended. Findings from continued research will help guide faculty to determine best practices in the use of debriefing.



Health and environmental sciences, High fidelity simulation, Nursing education, Peer debriefing, Peer leaders