Mask-EdTM: A scoping review


  • Kate Bridgman La Trobe University
  • Phillip Hughes La Trobe University



Mask-EdTM, simulation, nursing education, clinical education, health professional education


Introduction: Simulation is commonly used in health professional education. Mask-EdTM is a novel form of teacher-in-role methodology involving the educator wearing a purpose-made silicone mask to become the simulated patient. The simulation unfolds spontaneously and in response to the students’ or cohorts’ knowledge, skills or learning objectives. The evidence to support adoption appears limited. This is significant given the resources required to establish a Mask-EdTMcharacter and the changes to courses educators will likely make to embed this simulation. This scoping review aims to explore the current literature and evidence base relating to Mask-EdTM.

Methods: A scoping review was completed in September 2020 following the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses Extension for Scoping Reviews (PRISMA-ScR) checklist. Five databases and Google Scholar were searched for English, peer-reviewed publications containing variants of “Mask-Ed”. Screening and data charting were completed independently by both authors and then reviewed collaboratively. A descriptive analysis was conducted reporting findings based on study design. A thematic synthesis was completed for studies containing qualitative data.

Results: Eighteen studies published between 2011 and 2020 by Australian universities and health institutions were included. Twelve studies reported on 10 unique datasets drawing on survey, focus group and mixed method designs. Two studies reported case studies without data, one study was on training and a final three provided research summaries or pedagogical discussion of Mask-EdTM

Conclusion: There is emerging evidence, self-reported by preclinical nursing students, that Mask-EdTM supports improved engagement and confidence in formative learning activities. There is limited evidence, however, to support use in other health or medical disciplines or in individual or summative assessment.

Author Biographies

Kate Bridgman, La Trobe University

Kate is a Lecturer in the Discipline of Speech Pathology at La Trobe University.

Phillip Hughes, La Trobe University

Phillip is a Lecturer in the Discipline of Physiotherapy at La Trobe University.


Arksey, H., & O'Malley, L. (2005). Scoping studies: Towards a methodological framework. International Journal of Social Research Methodology, 8(1), 19–32.

Bearman, M., Nestel, D., & McNaughton, N. (2018). Healthcare simulation education: Evidence, theory and practice. In D. Nestel, M. Kelly, B. Jolly, & M. Watson (Eds.), Healthcare simulation education: Evidence, theory and practice (pp. 9–15). John Wiley & Sons.

Bogossian, F., Cooper, S., Kelly, M., Levett-Jones, T., McKenna, L., Slark, J., & Seaton, P. (2018). Best practice in clinical simulation education: Are we there yet? A cross-sectional survey of simulation in Australian and New Zealand pre-registration nursing education. Collegian, 25(3), 327–334.

Dieckmann, P., Gaba, D., & Rall, M. (2007). Deepening the theoretical foundations of patient simulation as social practice. Simulation in Healthcare, 2(3), 183–193.

Dwyer, T., Searl, K. R., McAllister, M., Guerin, M., & Friel, D. (2015). Advanced life simulation: High-fidelity simulation without the high technology. Nurse Education in Practice, 15(6), 430–436.

Frost, J., & Delaney, L. J. (2019). Nursing students' experience in performing intimate clinical procedures via high fidelity Mask-Ed™ simulation. BMJ Simulation and Technology Enhanced Learning, 5(2), 73–77.

Frost, J., Foster, K., & Ranse, K. (2017). Unfolding case study and Mask-Ed™ high fidelity simulation for chronic illness education: A case study. Collegian, 24(5), 433–439.

Frost, J., Isbel, S., Kellett, J., & Lawlis, T. (2017). Using digital story telling to assess health students' knowledge of interprofessional roles in the care of the older adult. BMJ Simulation and Technology Enhanced Learning, 3(1), 5–8.

Frost, J., & Reid-Searl, K. (2017). Exploring the potential of Mask-Ed™ (KRS simulation) to teach both the art and science of nursing: A discussion paper. Collegian, 24(2), 197–203.

Frost, J. S., Sainsbury, K., & Waller, C. (2017). Preparing students to respond: A pilot study to explore whether Mask-Ed™ simulation can assist students in developing clinical judgment. Australian Journal of Clinical Education, 2(1), Article 3.

Grant, M. J., & Booth, A. (2009). A typology of reviews: An analysis of 14 review types and associated methodologies. Health Information & Libraries Journal, 26(2), 91–108.

Law, M., Stewart, D., Letts, L., Pollock, N., Bosch, J., & Westmorland, M. (1998). Guidelines for critical review of qualitative studies. McMaster University Occupational Therapy Evidence-Based Practice Research Group.

Law, M., Stewart, D., Pollock, N., Letts, L., Bosch, J., & Westmorland, M. (1998). Guidelines for critical review form: Quantitative studies. McMaster University Occupational Therapy Evidence-Based Practice Research Group.

Lawlis, T., Frost, J., Eckley, D., Isbel, S., & Kellet, J. (2018). Enhancing health care student inter-professional learning through a pilot simulation ward experience using Mask-Ed™ (KRS simulation). Australian Journal of Clinical Education, 2(5), Article 5.

Levac, D., Colquhoun, H., & O'Brien, K. K. (2010). Scoping studies: Advancing the methodology. Implementation Science, 5, Article 69.

Lockwood, C., dos Santos, K. B., & Pap, R. (2019). Practical guidance for knowledge synthesis: Scoping review methods. Asian Nursing Research, 13(5), 287–294.

Mainey, L., Dwyer, T., Reid-Searl, K., & Bassett, J. (2018). High-level realism in simulation: A catalyst for providing intimate care. Clinical Simulation in Nursing, 17, 47–57.

McAllister, M., Sear, K. R., & Davis, S. (2013). Who is that masked educator? Deconstructing the teaching and learning processes of an innovative humanistic simulation technique. Nurse Education Today, 33(12), 1453–1458.

Nestel, D., Krogh, K., & Kolbe, M. (2018). Exploring realism in healthcare simulations. In D. Nestel, M. Kelly, B. Jolly, & M. Watson (Eds.), Healthcare simulation education: Evidence, theory and practice (pp. 23–28). John Wiley & Sons.

Nestel, D., Sanko, J., & McNaughton, N. (2018). Simulated participant methodologies: Maintaining humanism in practice. In D. Nestel, M. A. Kelly, B. Jolly, & M. Watson (Eds.), Healthcare simulation education: Evidence, theory and practice (pp. 45–53). John Wiley & Sons.

O’Regan, S., Molloy, E., Watterson, L., & Nestel, D. (2016). Observer roles that optimise learning in healthcare simulation education: A systematic review. Advances in Simulation, 1(1), Article 4.

Reid-Searl, K. (2020). Mask-Ed™ (KRS simulation)—An approach to deliver intimate care for neophyte nursing students: The creator's experience. British Journal of Nursing, 29(12), S8–S10.

Reid-Searl, K., Bowman, A., McAllister, M., Cowling, C., & Spuur, K. (2014). The masked educator: Innovative simulation in an Australian undergraduate medical sonography and medical imaging program. Journal of Medical Radiation Sciences, 61(4), 233–240.

Reid-Searl, K., Eaton, A., Vieth, L., & Happell, B. (2011). The educator inside the patient: Students' insights into the use of high fidelity silicone patient simulation. Journal of Clinincal Nursing, 20(19–20), 2752–2760.

Reid-Searl, K., Happell, B., Vieth, L., & Eaton, A. (2012). High fidelity patient silicone simulation: A qualitative evaluation of nursing students’ experiences. Collegian, 19(2), 77–83.

Reid-Searl, K., Levett-Jones, T., Cooper, S., & Happell, B. (2014). The implementation of Mask-Ed™: Reflections of academic participants. Nurse Education in Practice, 14(5), 485–490.

Reid-Searl, K., Mainey, L., Bassett, J., & Dwyer, T. (2019). Using simulation to prepare neophyte nursing students to deliver intimate patient care. Collegian, 26(2), 273–280.

Reid-Searl, K., McAllister, M., & Sinclair, C. (2014). Thinking like a nurse: The pedagogical power of process drama. Journal of Applied Arts & Health, 5(3), 319–330.

Reid-Searl, K., & O'Neill, B. (2017). Mask-Ed™: Breaking the barrier of fear of intimate care for nursing students. Journal of Nursing Education, 56(9), 572–574.

Rhodes, J., & Reid-Searl, K. (2015). Masked tutor brings patient to "life". Kai Tiaki: Nursing New Zealand, 21(1), 14.

Rosen, K. R. (2008). The history of medical simulation. Journal of Critical Care, 23(2), 157–166.

Ryall, T., Judd, B. K., & Gordon, C. J. (2016). Simulation-based assessments in health professional education: A systematic review. Journal of Multidisciplinary Healthcare, 9, 69–82.

Seaton, P., Levett-Jones, T., Cant, R., Cooper, S., Kelly, M. A., McKenna, L., Ng, L., & Bogossian, F. (2019). Exploring the extent to which simulation-based education addresses contemporary patient safety priorities: A scoping review. Collegian, 26(1), 194–203.

Thomas, J., & Harden, A. (2008). Methods for the thematic synthesis of qualitative research in systematic reviews. BMC Medical Research Methodology, 8, Article 45.

Tricco, A. C., Lillie, E., Zarin, W., O'Brien, K. K., Colquhoun, H., Levac, D., Moher, D., Peters, M. D., Horsley, T., & Weeks, L. (2018). PRISMA extension for scoping reviews (PRISMA-ScR): Checklist and explanation. Annals of Internal Medicine, 169(7), 467–473.




How to Cite

Bridgman, K., & Hughes, P. (2021). Mask-EdTM: A scoping review. Focus on Health Professional Education: A Multi-Professional Journal, 22(2), 39–59.