Qualitative Study of Paediatric Advance Care Planning Through Simulation: How we did it and the Lessons Learned

Sidharth Vemuri, Melissa Heywood, Jenny O’Neill, Jenny Hynson, Katrina Williams, Lynn Gillam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Simulation is a well-established experiential educational tool in health care, which allows clinicians to learn and practise skills via a replication of reality. However, its use as a research tool is novel and emerging. As we designed a phenomenological study of communication practices around paediatric advance care planning, we came to the view that simulation would be a very useful tool to enable feasible and ethical qualitative study of this complex and sensitive process, which involves discussion about a child’s death in the future and how to prepare for it. There is minimal description in the literature about how to use simulation as a qualitative research method. This article describes how we designed our study, focusing on: (1) the academic rationale for using simulation, (2) designing the simulation-based research method, (3) ensuring psychological safety of all participants in the simulation, (4) trialling the simulation, (5) the logistics of the study and (6) our reflections and learnings after using this novel method. We hope this discussion encourages other researchers to consider simulation as an innovative qualitative research method.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Qualitative Methods
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2023


  • advance care planning
  • clinical simulation
  • paediatric palliative care
  • qualitative research design

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