The use of simulation in health training increased significantly in recent years. In geriatrics/gerontology, the aging-simulation experience allows to feel the functional and sensory limitations lived by older persons.
The objective of this scoping review is to identify and describe studies exploring the effects of the aging-simulation experience on students and health professionals.
A systematic literature search was conducted in PubMed, Embase and Eric databases using keywords related to health simulation and gerontology. Articles in English or French published after 2000 were considered. Two researchers independently selected and analyzed all the studies. Characteristics of the simulation interventions, population of students and professionals, measurement tools used and effects of the aging-simulation experience were described.
From 428 references obtained by the search terms, 13 studies were included. These studies were conducted between 2001 and 2019 and were mainly from United States. Interventions implemented were varied. A positive effect of interventions on participants’ empathy towards older persons was noted in the 4 studies that evaluated it. The effects on their attitudes have been studied in 6 studies and the results differ between studies.
Pedagogical workshops to simulate the difficulties of daily life improve students and care professionals’ empathy towards older persons. The effects of this approach on carers attitudes were more mitigated and need to be explored.