Impact of classroom-based MASK-ED™ (KRS simulation) on physiotherapy student clinical performance: a randomized cluster trial

Tayne Ryall, Elisabeth Preston, Niru Mahendran, Bernie Bissett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
23 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Background
In physiotherapy there is a growing body of literature exploring the benefits simulation could have in the university-setting, prior to the commencement of work-integrated learning. MASK-ED™ simulation is one form of simulation that could be beneficial for student learning and improve performance in the clinical setting. MASK-ED™ simulation involves an educator donning a silicone mask and portraying a patient role that has been specifically developed to meet learning objectives.

Objective
To evaluate the effectiveness of MASK-ED™ simulation compared to role-play with peers for training pre-clinical physiotherapy students.

Methods
A single-centre, single-blind, cluster randomized trial with concealed allocation, between group post-measures, and intention-to-treat analysis was conducted at an Australian university between February 2018 – January 2021. Participants were 144 physiotherapy students, cluster randomized by tutorial groups (exp n = 70, con n = 74), undertaking their neurological curricula. The experimental group was exposed to MASK-ED™ simulation in five out of a potential thirty-two tutorials (16%) whilst the control continued with role-play with peers. The primary outcome measure was Assessment of Physiotherapy Practice scores from the students’ rehabilitation work-integrated learning clinical placement. These were compared between the experimental and control groups using Mann–Whitney U tests. Secondary outcome measures include practical and written examination scores. These were compared between groups via independent t-tests. Participant satisfaction surveys were also administered to the experimental group.

Results
One hundred thirty-two participants’ (exp n = 62, con n = 72) results were analyzed. There were no significant differences between the experimental and control groups for Assessment of Physiotherapy Practice scores (p = 0.699–0.995). There were no significant differences found between the groups, across the secondary outcome measures. Participants found MASK-ED™ simulation was somewhat helpful for preparing them for clinical practice, however felt that a group setting was not as effective as a one-on-one encounter would have been.

Conclusions
MASK-ED™ simulation was no more effective than role-play with peers in preparing physiotherapy students for work-integrated learning. The influence of the design of simulation on effective learning and the number of classroom-based simulation encounters required to impact clinical performance requires further investigation.
Original languageEnglish
Article number426
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalBMC Medical Education
Volume22
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022

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