The Effect of Preparation on Anxiety and Performance in Summative Simulations

Published:September 14, 2011DOI:



      Historically, studies that looked at how anxiety affects simulation performance have not included information about how students were prepared for those experiences. There is little research into best practices for preparing nursing students for evaluative simulation experiences. The purpose of this study was to examine how preparation for simulation affects anxiety and how anxiety affects simulation performance.


      Thirty-nine student nurses were alternately assigned to experimental and control groups. Both groups received the Spielberger State-Trait Anxiety Inventory before and after evaluative simulations. The experimental group received an additional supervised simulation practice with focused debriefing. The groups were compared to determine differences.


      No significant differences were found between experimental and control groups' trait anxiety scores at the time of enrollment, nor were there differences found between groups on state anxiety scores either at enrollment or during the period around the summative evaluations.


      This study provides evidence about what is helpful and necessary to ensure that students are adequately prepared for evaluative scenarios.


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