Blindfolding Improves Communication in Inexperienced Residents Undergoing ACLS Training

Emily Scicchitano, Phillip Stark, Paige Koetter, Nathan Michalak, Adrian D. Zurca

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background Closed-loop communication (CLC) is associated with decreased medical errors and improved time-to-task completion during resuscitations. Depriving team leaders of sight during training may accelerate the acquisition of favorable communication skills; however, its effect on the frequency of CLC is unclear, especially with trainees. Objective We assessed the effect of depriving interns of sight during advanced cardiovascular life support (ACLS) on verbal communication patterns and resuscitation confidence. Methods All interns undergoing ACLS training in June 2019 at a single center were eligible. Interns were randomized to blindfolded training (BT) or standard training (ST). BT team leaders were blindfolded during practice sessions and permitted to use sight during testing. Testing scenarios were video-and audio-recorded. Recordings were assessed for teams’ performance and communication patterns. Participants were surveyed for confidence with resuscitation skills before and after ACLS training. Results All 87 eligible interns participated in the study (100% participation). Eighty-five of 87 (98%) interns were included for analysis; 46 were randomized to BT and 39 to ST. Interns in the BT group were significantly more likely to exhibit CLC (mean: BT 20.3, ST 16.6; P = .003), directed communication (mean: BT 4.3, ST 1.5; P < .001), and follower-initiated communication (mean: BT 12.8, ST 10.2; P = .028). There was no significant difference in clinical performance measures or self-reported confidence with resuscitation between BT and ST groups. Conclusions Blindfolding trainees results in greater instances of CLC, directed communication, and follower-initiated communication during ACLS training.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)123-127
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of graduate medical education
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Medicine


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