Rapid-cycle deliberate practice: death notification

Rami Ahmed, Lindsay Weaver, Lauren Falvo, Anna Bona, Julie Poore, Karen Schroedle, Dylan Cooper, Elisa Sarmiento, Mary Hughes, Cherri Hobgood

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Background: Death notification can be challenging for emergency medicine physicians, who have no prior established relationship with the patient or their families. The GRIEV_ING death notification curriculum was developed to facilitate the delivery of the bad news of a patient's death and has been shown to improve learners’ confidence and competence in death notification. Rapid-cycle deliberate practice (RCDP), a facilitator-guided, within-event debriefing technique, has demonstrated an improvement in learners’ skills in a safe learning environment. The aim of this study was to identify whether the use of this technique is an effective method of teaching the GRIEV_ING curriculum, as demonstrated by learners’ improved confidence, cognitive knowledge and performance. Rapid-cycle deliberate practice (RCDP), a facilitator-guided within-event, debriefing technique, has demonstrated an improvement in learners’ skills in a safe learning environment. Methods: A 4-hour pilot curriculum was developed to educate and assess residents on the delivery of death notification. The curriculum consisted of a pre-intervention evaluation, the intervention phase, and a post-intervention evaluation. The cognitive test, critical action checklist, and self-efficacy/confidence surveys were identical for both pre- and post-intervention evaluations. A Wilcoxon rank-sum test was used to evaluate differences in scores between pre- and post-intervention groups. Results: Twenty-two emergency medicine residents participated in the study. We observed an increase in median self-efficacy scores (4.0 [4.0–5.0], p ≤ 0.0001), multiple-choice GRIEV_ING scores (90.0 [80.0–90.0], p ≤ 0.0001) and performance scores for death notification (48.5 [47.0–53.0], p = 0.0303). Discussion: The RCDP approach was found to be an effective method to train emergency medicine residents in the delivery of the GRIEV_ING death notification curriculum. This approach is actionable with few resources except for content experts trained in RCDP methodology and the application of the GRIEV_ING mnemonic.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)644-649
Number of pages6
JournalClinical Teacher
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Review and Exam Preparation


Dive into the research topics of 'Rapid-cycle deliberate practice: death notification'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this