Training and evaluating simulation debriefers in low-resource settings: lessons learned from Bihar, India

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Background: To develop effective and sustainable simulation training programs in low-resource settings, it is critical that facilitators are thoroughly trained in debriefing, a critical component of simulation learning. However, large knowledge gaps exist regarding the best way to train and evaluate debrief facilitators in low-resource settings.

Methods: Using a mixed methods approach, this study explored the feasibility of evaluating the debriefing skills of nurse mentors in Bihar, India. Videos of obstetric and neonatal post-simulation debriefs were assessed using two known tools: the Center for Advanced Pediatric and Perinatal Education (CAPE) tool and Debriefing Assessment for Simulation in Healthcare (DASH). Video data was used to evaluate interrater reliability and changes in debriefing performance over time. Additionally, twenty semi-structured interviews with nurse mentors explored perceived barriers and enablers of debriefing in Bihar.

Results: A total of 73 debriefing videos, averaging 18 min each, were analyzed by two raters. The CAPE tool demonstrated higher interrater reliability than the DASH; 13 of 16 CAPE indicators and two of six DASH indicators were judged reliable (ICC > 0.6 or kappa > 0.40). All indicators remained stable or improved over time. The number of ‘instructors questions,’ the amount of ‘trainee responses,’ and the ability to ‘organize the debrief’ improved significantly over time (p < 0.01, p < 0.01, p = 0.04). Barriers included fear of making mistakes, time constraints, and technical challenges. Enablers included creating a safe learning environment, using contextually appropriate debriefing strategies, and team building. Overall, nurse mentors believed that debriefing was a vital aspect of simulation-based training.

Conclusion: Simulation debriefing and evaluation was feasible among nurse mentors in Bihar. Results demonstrated that the CAPE demonstrated higher interrater reliability than the DASH and that nurse mentors were able to maintain or improve their debriefing skills overtime. Further, debriefing was considered to be critical to the success of the simulation training. However, fear of making mistakes and logistical challenges must be addressed to maximize learning. Teamwork, adaptability, and building a safe learning environment enhanced the quality enhanced the quality of simulation-based training, which could ultimately help to improve maternal and neonatal health outcomes in Bihar.

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