rss
Emerg Med J 26:899-902 doi:10.1136/emj.2008.067215
  • Prehospital care

Can teaching methods based on pattern recognition skill development optimise triage in mass-casualty incidents?

  1. T Pelaccia1,2,3,
  2. H Delplancq1,2,
  3. E Triby2,4,
  4. J-C Bartier1,2,
  5. C Leman5,
  6. H Hadef1,
  7. N Meyer6,
  8. J-P Dupeyron7
  1. 1
    Prehospital Emergency Care Service (SAMU 67)–Centre for Emergency Care Teaching (CESU 67), Strasbourg University Hospital, Strasbourg, France
  2. 2
    Health Sciences Education Research Laboratory, Department of Medical Education, Faculty of Medicine, University of Strasbourg, Strasbourg, France
  3. 3
    PhD student at the Department of Pedagogy, Faculty of Education, University of Sherbrooke, Sherbrooke, Québec, Canada
  4. 4
    Education and Communication Sciences Joint Laboratory, University of Strasbourg, Strasbourg, France
  5. 5
    Centre for Emergency Care Teaching (CESU 67), Strasbourg University Hospital, Strasbourg, France
  6. 6
    Department of Methodology and Biostatistics, Strasbourg University Hospital, Strasbourg, France
  7. 7
    Department of Anesthesiology and Intensive Care Medicine, Strasbourg University Hospital, Strasbourg, France
  1. Correspondence to Dr Thierry Pelaccia, Hôpitaux universitaires de Strasbourg, SAMU 67–CESU 67, 1 place de l’hôpital, 67000 Strasbourg, France; thierry.pelaccia{at}wanadoo.fr
  • Accepted 16 March 2009

Abstract

Background: Patient’s triage is a key element of mass-casualty incidents (MCIs) response, although performance of healthcare professionals in triage proved to be poor. It was assessed if specific teaching methods based on pattern recognition skill development can help healthcare students to improve their performance in triage.

Methods: 128 medical and nursing students have been assessed while performing triage during disaster medicine exercises. Half of them (group 1) had previously been involved in a standard curriculum. The remaining half (group 2) benefited from specific teaching methods based on pattern recognition skill development.

Results: Performance of group 2 was significantly higher compared with group 1 (p<0.01). Group 2 had a lower overtriage rate.

Conclusions: Disaster medicine courses based on pattern recognition skill development improve triage performance of healthcare students during simulated MCI. This study may have a high impact on healthcare students and professionals’ education in the perspective of MCIs preparedness and response.

Footnotes

  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and Peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.