The impact of moulage on learners' experience in simulation-based education and training: systematic review

Stacia DCosta, Grace Zadow, Dianne P Reidlinger, Gregory R Cox, Carly Hudson, Ale Ingabire, Jessica Stokes-Parish*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
35 Downloads (Pure)


BACKGROUND: Moulage is a technique used to simulate injury, disease, aging and other physical characteristics specific to a scenario, often used in health and emergency worker training, predominantly for simulation-based learning activities. Its use in allied health fields is unclear. Previous work has explored moulage as an adjunct for authentic simulations, however there is opportunity for broadening its scope.

AIM: To explore the effects of moulage interventions in simulation-based education and training, for learner experience. A secondary aim was to understand which pedagogical frameworks were embedded in moulage interventions.

METHOD: Four electronic databases (PubMed, CINAHL, EmBase, Proquest Central) were systematically searched to December 2022 for studies utilising moulage in simulation-based education experiences. Outcomes were focused on learner satisfaction, confidence, immersion, engagement, performance, or knowledge. Study quality was assessed using the Mixed Methods Appraisal Tool.

RESULTS: Twenty studies (n = 11,470) were included. Studies were primarily conducted in medicine (n = 9 studies) and nursing (n = 5 studies) and less frequently across other health disciplines. The findings demonstrated greater learner satisfaction, confidence, and immersion when moulage was used against a comparator group. Minimal improvements in knowledge and performance were identified. One study underpinned the intervention with a pedagogical theory.

CONCLUSION: Moulage improves learner experience in simulation-based education or training, but not knowledge or clinical performance. Further research utilising moulage across a broader range of professions is needed. Interventions using moulage should be underpinned by pedagogical theories.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6
Pages (from-to)1-16
Number of pages16
JournalBMC Medical Education
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2024


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