The Affordances of Clinical Simulation Immersive Technology Within Healthcare Education: A Scoping Review
Whilst clinical simulation is established as an effective education tool within the healthcare community, the inability to offer authentic educational learning environments remains problematic. Advances in technology such as immersive virtual reality offer new opportunities to enhance traditional practice to an extent that may transform learning. However, with traditional clinical simulation stress and anxiety can both hinder performance and learning, yet it is unknown what nuances are applicable within a clinical virtual simulation environment. Determining potential benefits, drawbacks (including related stress and anxiety) and affordances of immersive technology clinical simulation designs may help provide an understanding of its usefulness. The aim of this scoping review is to investigate the range and nature of evidence associated with immersive virtual reality clinical simulation and education design. In addition, the review will describe authentic immersive technology clinical simulation use and reported stress response measurements. A search of seven electronic database and grey literature was performed in accordance with the Joanna Briggs Institute methodology. A key term search strategy was employed with five themes identified and investigated: (1) Healthcare professionals, (2) Clinical simulation, (3) Immersive virtual reality, (4) Stress/anxiety and (5) Authentic learning design. Application of the search strategy resulted in a hit total of 212 articles. Twelve articles met inclusion criteria. With most literature focusing on procedural performance and non-transferable education needs, there was a paucity of research that specifically investigated immersive virtual reality clinical simulation education and related stress. Therefore, this scoping review contributes new understandings by providing valuable insight and potential research gaps into current immersive virtual reality clinical simulation, its relationship to stress and the education design models currently being utilised to develop these concepts.