Use of frameworks for simulation debriefing represents best practice, although available frameworks provide only general guidance. Debriefers may experience difficulties implementing broad recommendations, especially in challenging debriefing situations that require more specific strategies. This study describes how debriefers approach challenges in postsimulation debriefing.
Ten experienced simulation educators participated in 3 simulated debriefings. Think-aloud interviews before and after the simulations were used to explore roles that debriefers adopted and the associated strategies they used to achieve specific goals. All data were audio recorded and transcribed, and a constructivist grounded theory approach was used for analysis.
4 roles in debriefing were identified: guiding, (inter)mediating, facilitating integration, and teaching. Each role was associated with specific goals and strategies that were adopted to achieve these goals. The goal of creating and maintaining a psychologically safe learning environment was common across all roles. These findings were conceptualized as the GIFT debriefing framework.
Our findings highlight the multiple roles debriefers play and how these roles are enacted in postsimulation debriefing. These results may inform future professional development and mentorship programs for debriefing in both simulation-based education and healthcare settings.