International Journal of Healthcare Simulation - debate Default RSS Feed en-us Adi Health + Wellness <![CDATA[Is interprofessional co-debriefing necessary for effective interprofessional learning within simulation-based education?]]> BackgroundInterprofessional simulation-based education has become ever-more popular in recent years, in both undergraduate and postgraduate settings. Whilst the literature-base concerning debriefing interprofessional learner groups is growing, there is little research exploring interprofessional co-debriefing as a technique to facilitate effective learning in this context. This is surprising considering how pertinent the concept of interprofessional co-debriefing is in the context of interprofessional simulation-based education.The question of whether interprofessional co-debriefing is necessary for effective interprofessional learning is relatively unexplored. In this article we examine this discussion further and provide a balanced argument highlighting both the benefits and challenges encountered when instituting interprofessional co-debriefing. We draw upon our extensive experience of interprofessional simulation-based education as well as the best available evidence to inform readers of the current understanding of best practice in this field.


Benefits of interprofessional co-debriefing include differing perspectives and subject matter expertise, role-modelling, complementary debriefing styles, sharing of cognitive workload, and the opportunity for enhanced faculty development. However, it can also present challenges, even for experienced debriefers. For example, co-debriefers may have differing personal agendas with a focus on only one professional group, knowledge gaps concerning other professionals’ learning requirements, and both open and covert disagreements and differences in opinion that may affect the effectiveness of the debriefing. Furthermore, extra resources are required in terms of faculty numbers and training. Unfortunately, there is a lack of empirical research concerning interprofessional co-debriefing, with only one study currently reported that compares the perceived effectiveness of single debriefers versus interprofessional co-debriefers.


Drawing on our experiences and the best available evidence, interprofessional co-debriefing is not a necessity for effective interprofessional learning in simulation-based education. However, when utilized with skilled and trained faculty, we consider it to be an extremely powerful technique for interprofessional debriefing. This may be especially applicable for undergraduate learners who will likely have limited experience of working together with other healthcare professions. Further research is urgently needed to explore multiple aspects of interprofessional co-debriefing, including faculty and participant perceptions and expectations, and comparative studies assessing the effectiveness of debriefings led by single versus multiple debriefers.]]>