Objective: The purpose of this pilot investigation was to describe the development and implementation of simulation exercises and investigate the feasibility, satisfaction, and relative effectiveness of a manikin-based simulation program in chiropractic undergraduate education. Methods: This investigation consisted of (1) a qualitative review of other simulation environments and evaluation of related simulation literature to develop the educational processes to be used, (2) implementation of simulation scenarios for 95 student interns and their 11 supervising clinicians, and (3) implementation of simulation scenarios in a random sample of 35 1st-year and 24 2nd-year chiropractic students. Assessment of success was based on results from satisfaction and usability questionnaires and perceived achievement of learning outcomes. Anxiety scores were measured for all participants via a visual analog scale. The level of successful integration of 2nd-year basic science material was assessed using a t test comparing test results between students who participated in the pilot and those who did not. Results: Implementation methods were developed on the basis of qualitative investigation. Simulation program feedback from all participants indicated high levels of satisfaction, usability, and perceived achievement of learning outcomes. Anxiety levels among interns differed according to role chosen (F = 8.07, p = .00). Mean difference in course examination scores of students who participated in simulations versus those who did not was 3.25% favoring students who participated (t = 1.28, p = .10). Conclusions: High levels of student satisfaction and perceived achievement of learning outcomes were consistently achieved. A trend to successful integration of basic science knowledge provides reason for cautious optimism. More research is recommended.
Marion McGregor is the Director of Education Year II and Dominic Giuliano is the Educational Coordinator of the Simulation Lab, both from Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College.