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“Thinking on your feet”—a qualitative study of debriefing practice

Krogh, Kristian, Bearman, Margaret and Nestel, Debra 2016, “Thinking on your feet”—a qualitative study of debriefing practice, Advances in simulation, vol. 1, pp. 1-11, doi: 10.1186/s41077-016-0011-4.

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Title “Thinking on your feet”—a qualitative study of debriefing practice
Author(s) Krogh, Kristian
Bearman, MargaretORCID iD for Bearman, Margaret
Nestel, Debra
Journal name Advances in simulation
Volume number 1
Article ID 12
Start page 1
End page 11
Total pages 11
Publisher BioMed Central
Place of publication London, Eng.
Publication date 2016
ISSN 2059-0628
Keyword(s) debriefing
simulation-based education
blended approach to debriefing
faculty development
Summary Background: Debriefing is a significant component of simulation-based education (SBE). Regardless of how and where immersive simulation is used to support learning, debriefing has a critical role to optimise learning outcomes. Although the literature describes different debriefing methods and approaches that constitute effective debriefing, there are discrepancies as to what is actually practised and how experts or experienced debriefers perceive and approach debriefing. This study sought to explore the self-reported practices of expert debriefers.

Methods: We used a qualitative approach to explore experts’ debriefing practices. Peer-nominated expert debriefers who use immersive manikin-based simulations were identified in the healthcare simulation community across Australia. Twenty-four expert debriefers were purposively sampled to participate in semi-structured telephone interviews lasting 45–90 min. Interviews were transcribed and independently analysed using inductive thematic analysis.

Results: Codes emerging through the data analysis clustered into four major categories: (1) Values: ideas and beliefs representing the fundamental principles that underpinned interviewees’ debriefing practices. (2) Artistry: debriefing practices which are dynamic and creative. (3) Techniques: the specific methods used by interviewees to promote a productive and safe learning environment. (4) Development: changes in interviewees’ debriefing practices over time.

Conclusions: The “practice development triangle” inspired by the work of Handal and Lauvas offers a framework for our themes. A feature of the triangle is that the values of expert debriefers provide a foundation for associated artistry and techniques. This framework may provide a different emphasis for courses and programmes designed to support debriefing practices where microskill development is often privileged, especially those microskills associated with techniques (plan of action, creating a safe environment, managing learning objectives, promoting learner reflection and co-debriefing). Across the levels in the practice development triangle, the importance of continuing professional development is acknowledged. Strengths and limitations of the study are noted.
Language eng
DOI 10.1186/s41077-016-0011-4
Field of Research 130209 Medicine, Nursing and Health Curriculum and Pedagogy
Socio Economic Objective 930202 Teacher and Instructor Development
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2016, The Authors
Free to Read? Yes
Use Rights Creative Commons Attribution licence
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