Redefining Simulation Fidelity for Healthcare Education
Tun, Jimmy Kyaw
Kneebone, Roger L.
Background. Fidelity - an intrinsic property of simulation is crucial to simulation design and to educational effectiveness. Yet the term fidelity is inconsistently used, which makes it difficult to draw inferences from current literature and translate research into practice. Aim. In this article, we attempt to bring some clarity to the term simulation fidelity in healthcare education. Method. We are opposed to the notion that high-fidelity simulation requires complete and faithful replication of reality, and instead argue for an accurate representation of real-world cues and stimuli. We address a number of issues surrounding the term fidelity and how it is currently used in the literature. Result. In recognising the limitations of current methods of describing fidelity in the literature, we propose an alternative 3-dimensional framework for fidelity along the axes of the patient, clinical scenario, and healthcare facilities as a means for more precise and practical positioning of current healthcare simulation activities. Conclusion. All aspects of fidelity significantly hinge on the learners’ perceived realism of the context of the learning episode as opposed to any one particular element such as the technology used.