Older adults as simulated participants: a scoping review

Cathy M. Smith*, Nemat Alsaba, Debra Nestel, Lisa Guttman Sokoloff

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

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Simulated participants (SPs) can support development of competencies associated with person-centred care of older adults. There is limited information and understanding about working with older adult SPs and those who support them to create authentic, safe and effective simulations. This review aimed to review simulation literature focused on the care of older adults to explore and summarize what is known about working with older adults as SPs in healthcare providers’ education.

This scoping review followed Arksey and O’Malley’s five-stage approach, involving identification, selection, charting, collating, summarizing and reporting on results. Databases searched included MEDLINE, PsychINFO and EBSCO. To capture additional articles, we hand-searched the reference lists of articles selected for inclusion, MedEdPORTAL and Google Scholar.

From the initial 816 citations identified, 12 articles were in scope. Articles were either research or educational guides. Findings related to general characteristics of articles, description of SPs, conceptualization of SP role/scenario, SP preparation and scenario implementation.

Older adult SPs contribute to healthcare provider training in authentic, engaging, safe and effective ways. This scoping review provides a foundation on which to further develop older adult SP practices by highlighting their well-being and safety (both physical and psychological), promoting ways to increase diversity and inclusion, and emphasizing that the words we use matter. Improved reporting details of articles involving older adult SPs will facilitate the identification of effective practices.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Healthcare Simulation
Publication statusPublished - 12 Jun 2023


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