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J Educ Eval Health Prof > Epub ahead of print
J Educ Eval Health Prof. 2021; 18: 8.
Published online April 20, 2021.
[Epub ahead of print]
Comparison of the use of manikins and simulated patients in a multidisciplinary in situ medical simulation program for healthcare professionals in the United Kingdom
Marrit Meerdink  , Joshua Khan 
Bristol Medical Simulation Centre, University Hospitals of Bristol and Weston NHS Foundation Trust, Bristol, UK
Correspondence  Marrit Meerdink ,Email:
Editor:  Sun Huh, Hallym University, Korea
Submitted: February 15, 2021  Accepted after revision: April 7, 2021
Simulation training is increasingly popular in healthcare education, and often relies on specially designed manikins. However, it is also possible to work with actors, or simulated patients (SPs), which may provide a greater sense of realism. This study aimed to compare these 2 approaches, to ascertain which makes healthcare professionals feel most comfortable, which leads to the greatest improvement in confidence, and which is most beneficial to learning.
This study was embedded in a pre-existing multidisciplinary in situ simulation program. A multidisciplinary group of learners from a range of backgrounds—including nurses, doctors, and other allied health professionals—were asked to complete a questionnaire about their learning preferences. We collected 204 responses from 40 simulation sessions over 4 months, from September to December 2019. Of these 204 responses, 123 described using an SP and 81 described using a manikin.
We found that 58% of respondents believed they would feel more comfortable working with an actor, while 17% would feel more comfortable using a manikin. Learners who used both modalities reported a significant increase in confidence (P<0.0001 for both). Participants felt that both modalities were beneficial to learning, but SPs provided significantly more benefits to learning than manikins (P<0.0001). The most common reason favoring SP-based simulation was the greater realism.
In scenarios that could reasonably be provided using either modality, we suggest that educators should give greater consideration to using SP-based simulation.
Keywords: Learning; Manikins; Simulation training; Surveys and questionnaires; United Kingdom
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