Redefining Simulation Fidelity for Healthcare Education

Jimmy Kyaw Tun, Guillaume Alinier, Jessica Tang, Roger L. Kneebone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Citations (Scopus)
715 Downloads (Pure)


Background. Fidelity - an intrinsic property of simulation is crucial to simulation design and to educational effectiveness. Yet the term fidelity is inconsistently used, which makes it difficult to draw inferences from current literature and translate research into practice. Aim. In this article, we attempt to bring some clarity to the term simulation fidelity in healthcare education. Method. We are opposed to the notion that high-fidelity simulation requires complete and faithful replication of reality, and instead argue for an accurate representation of real-world cues and stimuli. We address a number of issues surrounding the term fidelity and how it is currently used in the literature. Result. In recognising the limitations of current methods of describing fidelity in the literature, we propose an alternative 3-dimensional framework for fidelity along the axes of the patient, clinical scenario, and healthcare facilities as a means for more precise and practical positioning of current healthcare simulation activities. Conclusion. All aspects of fidelity significantly hinge on the learners’ perceived realism of the context of the learning episode as opposed to any one particular element such as the technology used.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)159-174
Number of pages16
JournalSimulation and Gaming
Issue number2
Early online date5 Apr 2015
Publication statusPublished - 22 Apr 2015


  • clinical facilities
  • clinical scenario
  • cues
  • deception
  • educational effectiveness
  • environment
  • fidelity
  • framework
  • healthcare
  • healthcare simulation
  • learner perception
  • learning experience
  • patient
  • realism
  • representation
  • scenario design
  • simulation design
  • simulation-based training


Dive into the research topics of 'Redefining Simulation Fidelity for Healthcare Education'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this