The rare event of handling critically ill children often challenge the emergency care team. Several studies have investigated effects of simulation-based team training to prepare for such events, but the body of evidence remains to be compiled. We performed a systematic review of the effects of simulation-based team training on clinical performance and patient outcome.
From a search of MEDLINE, Embase, CINAHL, and Cochrane Library, we included studies of team training in emergency pediatric settings with reported clinical performance and patient outcomes. We extracted data using a predefined template and assessed risk of bias using the Cochrane risk-of-bias tool for randomized trials 2.0 and the Newcastle Ottawa Quality Assessment Scale.
We screened 1926 abstracts and included 79 studies. We identified 15 studies reporting clinical health care professional performance or patient outcomes. Four studies reported survival data, 5 reported time-critical clinical events, 5 reported adherence to guidelines, checklists or tasks, and 2 reported on airway management. Randomized studies revealed improved team performance in simulated reevaluations 2 to 6 months after intervention. A meta-analysis was impossible because of heterogeneous interventions and outcomes. Most included studies had significant methodological limitations.
Pediatric simulation-based team training improves clinical performance in time-critical tasks and adherence to guidelines. Improved survival was indicated but not concluded because of high risk of bias. Team performance and technical skills improved for at least 2 to 6 months. Future research should include longer-term measures of skill retention and patient outcomes or clinical measures of treatment quality whenever possible.

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