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Promoting critical thinking through simulation-based healthcare training (SBHT): A scoping review

K Henrico
N Oostdam


Background. Critical thinking (CT) is an essential graduate attribute for health professions (HP) students. Yet, achieving a higher level of CT in HP students through education is often difficult for educators. SBHT has proven to be an effective strategy to promote CT, but it is not clear how this educational pedagogy should be implemented to achieve higher levels of CT.
Objective. To identify and describe the use of simulation-based healthcare training (SBHT) strategies to promote CT in HP students.
Methods. Based on the revised methodology of Levac et al., a scoping review was conducted on studies reporting an improvement in CT through simulation-based healthcare education published between January 2010 and August 2021.
Results. Twenty articles were included. Through thematic analysis, three main themes were identified: contact simulations, computer-based simulations, and debriefing. The focus was on how these approaches were used to promote CT. Various subthemes were also identified.
Conclusion. Correctly planning and implementing a simulation-based experience that relates to the relevant learning activities, combined with repeat practice and guided reflection during the debriefing stage, improves the CT skills of HP students.

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