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Short Presentation12: The role of modern technologies in disaster training: an overview of scientifically evaluated training methods used to prepare medical first responders for disasters (Baetzner, Anke Sabine; Wespi, Rafael; Hill, Yannick; Sauter, Thomas; Wrzus, Cornelia; Fr
Thursday, 01/Sept/2022:
10:45am - 12:00pm

Location: CHUV auditorium Auguste Tissot

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The role of modern technologies in disaster training: an overview of scientifically evaluated training methods used to prepare medical first responders for disasters

Anke Sabine Baetzner1, Rafael Wespi2, Yannick Hill1, Thomas Sauter2, Cornelia Wrzus1, Marie Ottilie Frenkel1

1Heidelberg University, Germany; 2Bern University Hospital, University Bern, Switzerland

Effective performance of medical first responders (MFRs) is crucial for ensuring patients’ survival and recovery. Therefore, MFRs need to be adequately trained, especially for high-stress situations like disasters which involve multiple victims. Although such incidents are typically challenging to train in terms of resources, new technologies like virtual and mixed reality (VR and MR) may be leveraged to increase critical training time. We conducted a systematic review to provide an overview of all scientifically evaluated training methods used to prepare MFRs for disasters. This enabled us to explicitly identify how often and what types of VR and MR are being used in current disaster training research and how they compare to standard training.

The systematic review was conducted according to the PRISMA guidelines and focused specifically on (quasi-)experimental designs or pre-post comparisons. The literature search was conducted via Web of Science and PubMed and led to the inclusion of 55 articles.

Besides traditional trainings methods (e.g., e-learning, screen-based serious gaming), we found that technology-based methods (e.g., e-learning, screen-based serious gaming) are indeed used for disaster training. However, few studies systematically evaluated VR and MR training. Furthermore, the few VR studies most often evaluated screen-based VR instead of the more immersive modalities with head-mounted displays or CAVE. Only one study used augmented reality. Regarding the effectiveness indicators, the overall aim of most studies was to increase the trainees’ knowledge of either the triage process or proper crisis management procedures. Thus, the effectiveness of the trainings was mainly assessed through pre-post comparisons of knowledge tests although some studies also examined behavioral performance indicators (e.g., triage accuracy). Surprisingly, while MFRs typically work in teams, the training evaluations rarely included the assessment of group performance.

Altogether, few studies evaluated realistic trainings focusing on actual behavior. Modern training technologies are increasingly close to reality and thus represent a promising approach to train MFRs with relatively few resources. Our results call for a systematic evaluation and comparison of different methods.

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