Simulation-Based Learning Experiences in Dietetics Programs: A Systematic Review

Marie Claire O'Shea, Claire Palermo, Gary D. Rogers, Lauren T. Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: Simulation-based learning experiences (SBLEs) are widely used in education for health professionals, but this literature has not yet been synthesized for dietetics. The aim of this study was to describe presupervised practice SBLEs using simulated patients within programs credentialing dietitians. Methods: A systematic review following the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses guidelines. A total of 8 databases were searched (MEDLINE by EBSCO HOST, CINAHL Plus with Full Text, Web of Science, PsycINFO, Scopus, ERIC ProQuest, Embase, and ProQuest Education) for studies published up to November 2, 2018 with the terms “dietitian,” “standardized patient,” “student,” and their synonyms. Results: Fourteen out of 740 studies were identified. Most focused on development/assessment of communication and counseling skills. Learning outcomes were measured in 12 studies with 8 different tools. Conclusions and Implications: The dietetics profession needs robust and consistent reporting methods to enable the development of a high-quality body of evidence on SBLEs. The quality and quantity of SBLE research need to improve to ensure that simulations are pedagogically sound and are accompanied by measures of quality and impact on learning.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)429-438
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Nutrition Education and Behavior
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2020


  • dietitian
  • reporting quality
  • simulated patient
  • simulation-based learning
  • student

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