Short Term Retention of Ventricular Assist Device Self-Care Skills after Simulation-Based Mastery Learning

Jeffrey H Barsuk, E. R. Cohen, Jane E Wilcox, R. S. Harap, K. B. Shanklin, Kenzie A Cameron, K. L. Grady, D. B. Wayne

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


PURPOSE: Patients implanted with a ventricular assist device (VAD) and their caregivers must learn self-care skills to help prevent complications. We created a VAD self-care simulation-based mastery learning (SBML) curriculum and evaluated the retention of VAD self-care skills between SBML and traditionally-trained patients and caregivers. METHODS: From June 2017 to February 2019, patients and their caregivers at a tertiary care VAD center were randomized to SBML or traditional-training during their implant hospitalization. SBML consisted of participants taking a pretest on 3 VAD self-care skills (controller, power source, and driveline dressing changes), watching videos, and performing deliberate practice on a VAD simulator. SBML participants took the 3 skills tests again before discharge and were required to meet or exceed a minimum passing score for each skill. The traditionally-trained group received the existing institutional VAD self-care teaching and took the 3 VAD self-care skills tests before discharge. Subsequently, the SBML group was retested at 1 and 3 months after discharge and the traditionally-trained group was retested 3 months after discharge. RESULTS: 15 patients and 15 caregivers in the SBML group and 16 patients and 16 caregivers in the traditionally-trained group completed the study (Table). There were no differences in demographic and clinical information between groups. There were no significant differences between discharge test performance and 1 and 3 month follow-up performance within the SBML group. The SBML group significantly outperformed the traditionally-trained group at 3 months on all 3 skills tests (all p <0.05). CONCLUSION: VAD self-care SBML resulted in skills retention up to 3 months after discharge. Traditional VAD training resulted in sustained low levels of VAD self-care skills that did not improve after living with a VAD for 3 months. SBML is an effective method to train patients and caregivers on VAD self-care skills.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Transplantation

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