Journal of Surgical Simulation 2016; 3: A: 9 - 9

Published: 25 February 2016


Oral presentation

Special Issue: Inter-professional simulation to improve collaborative care for young people with physical and mental health needs

Christopher Kowalski, Chris Attoe and Sean Cross
Corresponding author: Christopher Kowalski, Maudsley Simulation, South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK. Email:


Aims:  A large proportion of young people with mental health needs present to general hospitals. Recent UK government reports have highlighted the importance of joined up care in these cases, whilst there appears a general lack of confidence in paediatric staff when managing them. We developed an inter-professional simulation (IPS) training course with the aims of improving joint working between paediatric and CAMHS staff and increasing participants’ confidence in managing young people with mental health needs.

Methods: A one day course was developed and piloted on 10 occasions. In all, 99 participants attended. Participants included: paediatric, GP VTS, emergency medicine and psychiatry trainees, paediatric nurses and healthcare assistants and CAMHS professionals.

Data was collected from course evaluation forms, and pre- and post-course questionnaires exploring participants' confidence in the assessment and management of such young people, and their attitudes towards their roles and responsibilities in their care. Focus groups were conducted to gather further qualitative data. 

Results: Quantitative data demonstrated a statistically significant increase in participants' confidence scores from pre- (mean=59.78, SD=15.37] to post-course (mean=76.81, SD=11.27), t(54)=-9.46, P<0.0005 (n=62). Additionally, participants' attitudes score improved, from pre- (mean=27.65, SD=3.68) to post-course (mean=30.26, SD=3.33), t(53)=5.33, P<0.0005 (n = 62). The eta squared statistic indicated large effect sizes, 0.62 and 0.35 respectively.

Thematic analysis of the qualitative data generated several themes.  In addition to those relating to knowledge, confidence, attitudes and clinical skills, participants particularly appeared to have enhanced their capabilities in collaborative working. Specifically, this comprised of: the intention to involve colleagues earlier, to seek advice more, to better hand over information and to discuss cases more. Participants also reported a better awareness of teams’ roles and responsibilities and improved appreciation of different professionals’ perspectives.

Conclusions: Our findings demonstrate that it is possible to employ IPS to promote collaborative working at the mental-physical interface for the care of young people with both mental and physical health needs. Additionally, participants went away with improved knowledge, confidence and attitudes for working with this demographic.


mental health; simulation; inter-professional simulation; young people; paediatric; CAMHS

Additional Information

This presentation was given at the Fifth Annual Homerton Simulation Conference: Innovations in Healthcare, Patient Safety and Simulation, Homerton University Hospital, London, UK, on 10 December 2015.

Conflicts of interest: none declared.