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26-11-2020 | Original Article | Uitgave 2/2021 Open Access

Perspectives on Medical Education 2/2021

A randomised trial of the effectiveness of instructor versus automated manikin feedback for training junior doctors in life support skills

Perspectives on Medical Education > Uitgave 2/2021
Chris Wilson, Erin Furness, Leah Proctor, Greg Sweetman, Kathryn Hird
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Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (https://​doi.​org/​10.​1007/​s40037-020-00631-y) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.



Australian Standards require that clinicians undergo regular training in skills required to respond to the acute deterioration of a patient. Training focuses on the ability to appropriately respond to cardiac arrest, including delivering cardiac compressions, ventilation and appropriate defibrillation. Providing such training comes at a significant cost to the organisation and impacts on clinician time in direct patient care. If effective, the use of an automated manikin could significantly reduce costs and provide consistent training experiences.


Fifty-six resident medical officers were randomised to two groups to test two skills components of hospital life support training under two feedback conditions. The skills components were cardiac compressions and bag-valve-mask ventilation. The feedback conditions were automated feedback delivered by a simulation manikin and traditional feedback delivered by an instructor. All participants were exposed to both skills components and both feedback conditions in a counterbalanced block design. Participants completed surveys before and after training.


The results demonstrated significantly better performance in cardiac compressions under the automated manikin feedback condition compared with the instructor feedback condition. This difference was not observed in bag-valve-mask ventilation. The majority of participants found the automated manikin feedback more useful than the instructor feedback.


Automated manikin feedback was not inferior to instructor feedback for skill acquisition in cardiac compressions training. The automated feedback condition did not achieve the same level of significance in bag-valve-mask ventilation training. Results suggest training with automated feedback presents a cost-effective opportunity to lessen the training burden, whilst improving skill acquisition.
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