Author ORCID Identifier

Celeste M. Alfes

Document Type


Publication Date



Objectives: This umbrella review aimed to consolidate the evidence base on the impact of high-fidelity simulation on knowledge and performance among undergraduate nursing students. Design: Umbrella review with meta-analyses of pooled effect sizes, followed by an additional meta-analysis of primary studies from the included systematic reviews, excluding overlapping results. Data sources: Systematic searches were performed up to August 2023 in PubMed, Embase, and Cochrane Library. We included reviews that compared high-fidelity simulation against other learning strategies. Review methods: The risk of bias was assessed for each included systematic review (ROBIS tool) and primary study (RoB 2 or ROBINS-I as appropriate). Random-effect meta-analyses of meta-analyses were performed to estimate the pooled effects of high-fidelity simulation on knowledge and performance. Further random-effect meta-analyses of primary studies were conducted, with overlapping studies excluded (12 %). Subgroup analyses were performed to provide a more comprehensive analysis of the findings. Trim-and-fill analyses were conducted to adjust for potential publication bias. Results: Six systematic reviews were included and encompassed 133 primary studies (2767 and 3231 participants concerning performance and knowledge, respectively). The adjusted pooled effects for knowledge (SMD = 0.877, 95 % CI: 0.182 to 1.572) and performance (SMD = 0.738, 95 % CI: 0.466 to 1.010) closely aligned with those obtained from meta-analyzing the primary studies for knowledge (SMD = 0.980) and performance (SMD = 0.540), both showing high statistical heterogeneity. Traditional lectures represented the more common comparison. The subgroup analysis revealed significant differences in effect sizes across geographic locations, topics, types of control, and how interventions were reported. Conclusions: The results provide robust evidence supporting the integration of high-fidelity simulation into undergraduate nursing programs to enhance students' knowledge and performance. The high reported heterogeneity may be attributed to variations in study contexts or methodologies. Future research should explore the optimal use of high-fidelity simulation in different educational and cultural contexts.


high-fidelity simulation, nursing education, undergraduate nursing students, knowledge acquisition, performance, meta-analysis, systematic review, umbrella review

Publication Title

Nurse Education Today




© 2024 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Ltd.

Included in

Nursing Commons



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