The use and limits of eye-tracking in high-fidelity clinical scenarios: A pilot study

Mark Graeme Browning, Simon John Rankin Cooper, Robyn Patricia Cant, Louise Margaret Sparkes, Fiona Elizabeth Bogossian, Brett Anthony Williams, Peter O'Meara, Linda Jane Ross, Graham Munro, Barbara Black

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12 Citations (Scopus)


Aim: To explore the potential of mobile eye-tracking to identify healthcare students’ area of visual interest and its relationship to performance ratings.
Background: Eye-tracking identifies an individual’s visual attention focus, and has been used as a training technique in medicine and in nursing. In this study participants wore a point of view (PoV) camera within a spectacle frame during simulation education experiences.
Methods: Thirty-nine final year nursing and paramedicine students individually participated in three 8 minute clinical simulations with debriefing using videoed eye-tracking recordings. Coloured dots on the video depicted the participant’s pupil fixation on five targeted areas. Data extracted from the video camera were collated to report time spent on each target (their ‘gaze’).
Results: The mean total gaze of expert designated targets in the environment for three 8 minute scenarios was 40–77%. Of 35 participants’ focus on three main areas of interest, their priority was the patient’s head (34%), the patient’s trunk (24%) and their clinical assistant (5%), with significant differences between nursing and paramedic disciplines (P < 0.05). Objectively rated clinical performance improved significantly by the third scenario (P ≤ 0.001). Participants were positive regarding use of eye tracking during debriefing.
Conclusions: Eye tracking has the potential to enhance debriefing and educational outcomes, although there are limitations to gaze capture in high fidelity environments and resource cost is high. Further study is warranted to enable better understanding of how expert clinicians achieve high levels of performance.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)43 - 47
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Emergency Nursing
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2016


  • Debriefing
  • Eye-tracking
  • Education
  • Clinical
  • Simulation
  • Point of view (PoV)
  • Gaze

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