MANUSCRIPT: Feasibility of scenario-based simulation training versus traditional workshops in continuing medical education: a randomized controlled trial.
Introduction : Although simulation-based training is increasingly used for medical education, its benefits in continuing medical education (CME) are less established. This study seeks to evaluate the feasibility of incorporating simulation-based training into a CME conference and compare its effectiveness with the traditional workshop in improving knowledge and self-reported confidence. Methods : Participants (N=27) were group randomized to either a simulation-based workshop or a traditional case-based workshop. Results : Post-training, knowledge assessment score neither did increase significantly in the traditional group (d=0.13; p=0.76) nor did significantly decrease in the simulation group (d= – 0.44; p=0.19). Self-reported comfort in patient assessment parameters increased in both groups (p<0.05 in all). However, only the simulation group reported an increase in comfort in patient management (d=1.1, p=0.051 for the traditional group and d=1.3; p= 0.0003 for the simulation group). At 1 month, comfort measures in the traditional group increased consistently over time while these measures in the simulation group increased post-workshop but decreased by 1 month, suggesting that some of the effects of training with simulation may be short lived. Discussion : The use of simulation-based training was not associated with benefits in knowledge acquisition, knowledge retention, or comfort in patient assessment. It was associated with superior outcomes in comfort in patient management, but this benefit may be short-lived. Further studies are required to better define the conditions under which simulation-based training is beneficial.