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Simulation and midwifery education 2011–2021: a systematic review

02 May 2023
Volume 31 · Issue 5
Figure 8a. Roll over onto all fours position
Figure 8a. Roll over onto all fours position



In the last decade, simulation has become a key pedagogical tool in midwifery education. The purpose of this study was to undertake a scoping review of the literature to explore the integration and application of simulation in midwifery education.


A search was carried out using the online database PUBMED, for articles published between 2011 and 2021. After screening and quality assessment, n=44 articles were included in the review.


The number of articles published on this topic increased from three published in 2011–2012 to seven published in 2020–2021. A total of 44 articles were included, and assessed based on their main aims and objectives. These were development and evaluation of a simulation, description and/or comparison of fidelity, description of a simulation via screens/remotely, exploring student midwives' experiences, the impact on student midwives, and assessing student midwives' satisfaction in a simulation.


This review explored the existing literature on simulation and midwifery education. It allows an assessment of the current state of midwifery education and opens up avenues for further development.

The initial education of healthcare professionals has undergone a notable evolution in recent years (O'Connor et al, 2022). The COVID-19 pandemic was a landmark event that revealed the global health sector's key needs, especially in terms of human resources (Walton et al, 2020). As a result, research has multiplied to promote the health sector, starting with the gaps identified during the pandemic.

The goal of research in paramedical education is to promote the quality and safety of care (Crosetta et al, 2018). In the past decade, the emergence of simulation has challenged traditional methods of education. Simulation-based education focuses on the learner, but its central principle is the importance of ethical education in terms of the patient: ‘never the first time on a patient’ (Granry and Moll, 2012). Health simulation is an active and innovative teaching method based on experimental learning and reflective practice. It involves the use of manikins by students without exposing patients to procedures being performed on them for the first time by the student (Weller et al, 2012). In addition, it offers students the opportunity to learn from their mistakes without adverse physical and psychological consequences for them or the patient (Holmboe et al, 2011). In medical and allied health education, simulation has added educational value in promoting non-technical skills, such as communication and teamwork (Eisenmann et al, 2018).

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