The use of interprofessional simulation interventions in medical student education: A scoping review

Victoria Langton, Dimitra Dounas, Abby Moore, Stephen Bacchi, Josephine Thomas


Introduction: Simulation is commonly used by health and education institutions to facilitate interprofessional learning (IPL). The use of simulation in IPL is resource intensive. Evidence of what works, and with whom, is important to inform practice, policymaking and further research. The aim of this scoping review was to summarise the existing literature on IPL involving medical students, where simulation was the teaching modality. This review examined a variety of simulation-based interventions used to teach IPL to medical students and identified key features and outcomes. 

Methods: The databases Pubmed, Medline, EMBASE and PsychINFO were searched using the terms related to medical student and simulation combined with interprofessional. Included articles involved medical students alongside a student or practitioner from at least one other health profession taking part in at least one simulation session. Data extraction was performed by two authors using a standardised form. 

Results: It emerged that simulations of medical emergencies were the most common format to deliver IPL interventions. Most studies evaluated the success of their IPL intervention using the Readiness for Interprofessional Learning Scale (RIPLS). 

Conclusion: All studies were successful in improving student attitudes towards IPL and interprofessional collaboration when these were measured outcomes. Formal team training prior to simulation is effective in improving teamwork skills. IPL interventions with participants from a greater mix of professions have more positive results.


Interprofessional learning; interprofessional education; medical students; simulation; simulation training

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