A Method for Functional Task Alignment Analysis of an Arthrocentesis Simulator

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During simulation-based education, simulators are subjected to procedures composed of a variety of tasks and processes. Simulators should functionally represent a patient in response to the physical action of these tasks. The aim of this work was to describe a method for determining whether a simulator does or does not have sufficient functional task alignment (FTA) to be used in a simulation.


Potential performance checklist items were gathered from published arthrocentesis guidelines and aggregated into a performance checklist using Lawshe's method. An expert panel used this performance checklist and an FTA analysis questionnaire to evaluate a simulator's ability to respond to the physical actions required by the performance checklist.


Thirteen items, from a pool of 39, were included on the performance checklist. Experts had mixed reviews of the simulator's FTA and its suitability for use in simulation. Unexpectedly, some positive FTA was found for several tasks where the simulator lacked functionality.


By developing a detailed list of specific tasks required to complete a clinical procedure, and surveying experts on the simulator's response to those actions, educators can gain insight into the simulator's clinical accuracy and suitability. Unexpected of positive FTA ratings of function deficits suggest that further revision of the survey method is required.

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