Simulation is an effective teaching tool in disaster medicine education, and the use of simulated patients (SPs) is a frequently adopted technique. Throughout this article, we critically analyzed the use and the preparation of SPs in the context of simulation in disaster medicine.
A systematic review of English, French, and Italian language articles was performed on PubMed and Google Scholar. Studies were included if reporting the use of SPs in disaster medicine training. Exclusion criteria included abstracts, citations, theses, articles not dealing with disaster medicine, and articles not using human actors in simulation. Eighteen papers were examined.
All the studies were conducted in Western countries. Case reports represent 50% of references. Only in 44.4% of articles, the beneficiaries of simulations were students, while in most of cases were professionals. In 61.1% of studies SPs were moulaged, and in 72.2%, a method to simulate victim symptoms was adopted. Ten papers included a previous training for SPs and their involvement in the participants’ assessment at the end of the simulation.
Finally, this systematic review revealed that there is still a lack of uniformity about the use of SPs in the disaster medicine simulations.