Issues of cost-benefit and cost-effectiveness for simulation in health professions education

Research output: Contribution to journalComment / DebateOtherpeer-review

80 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Simulation education can be costly—however, costs need to be considered against what you get in return to determine whether these costs are justified. Unfortunately in simulation education, evaluations that yield information about the return on investment are scarce. An economic evaluation provides a comparison of value. In short—what is it that is being obtained, what do you need to give up to get it, and how does that compare to what you get with the next best alternative? When educators are equipped with this knowledge, they will be better informed to know the place that simulation-based learning approaches should take in optimal course structures. Main body: This article provides an overview of the costs and consequences associated with simulation in healthcare education. It provides an outline of the benefits of using economic evaluations to inform decision-making by educators and clinicians concerning the most appropriate educational approaches. It also provides guidance for educational researchers interested in investigating the cost and value of their innovations. Conclusion: Measures of cost and value in simulation are required to provide information about the viability and sustainability of simulation education, enabling simulation education in health care to demonstrate its worth.

Original languageEnglish
Article number13
Number of pages6
JournalAdvances in Simulation
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 17 May 2016


  • Simulation
  • Costs
  • Benefits
  • Effectiveness
  • Value
  • Market

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