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Is simulation training effective in increasing podiatrists' confidence in foot ulcer management?

Authors
Publisher
BioMed Central Ltd.
Publication Date
Keywords
  • 110306 Endocrinology
  • Foot Ulcer
  • Simulation
  • Clinical Education
  • Podiatry
Disciplines
  • Medicine
  • Philosophy

Abstract

Background: Foot ulcers are a frequent reason for diabetes-related hospitalisation. Clinical training is known to have a beneficial impact on foot ulcer outcomes. Clinical training using simulation techniques has rarely been used in the management of diabetes-related foot complications or chronic wounds. Simulation can be defined as a device or environment that attempts to replicate the real world. The few non-web-based foot-related simulation courses have focused solely on training for a single skill or “part task” (for example, practicing ingrown toenail procedures on models). This pilot study aimed to primarily investigate the effect of a training program using multiple methods of simulation on participants’ clinical confidence in the management of foot ulcers. Methods: Sixteen podiatrists participated in a two-day Foot Ulcer Simulation Training (FUST) course. The course included pre-requisite web-based learning modules, practicing individual foot ulcer management part tasks (for example, debriding a model foot ulcer), and participating in replicated clinical consultation scenarios (for example, treating a standardised patient (actor) with a model foot ulcer). The primary outcome measure of the course was participants’ pre- and post completion of confidence surveys, using a five-point Likert scale (1 = Unacceptable-5 = Proficient). Participants’ knowledge, satisfaction and their perception of the relevance and fidelity (realism) of a range of course elements were also investigated. Parametric statistics were used to analyse the data. Pearson’s r was used for correlation, ANOVA for testing the differences between groups, and a paired-sample t-test to determine the significance between pre- and post-workshop scores. A minimum significance level of p < 0.05 was used. Results: An overall 42% improvement in clinical confidence was observed following completion of FUST (mean scores 3.10 compared to 4.40, p < 0.05). The lack of an overall significant change in knowledge scores reflected the participant populations’ high baseline knowledge and pre-requisite completion of web-based modules. Satisfaction, relevance and fidelity of all course elements were rated highly. Conclusions: This pilot study suggests simulation training programs can improve participants’ clinical confidence in the management of foot ulcers. The approach has the potential to enhance clinical training in diabetes-related foot complications and chronic wounds in general.

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