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Clinical simulation, Cognitive workload, Eye tracking, Pupil response



  1. Wilbanks, Bryan A. PhD, DNP, CRNA
  2. Aroke, Edwin PhD, CRNA
  3. Dudding, Katherine M. PhD, RN


High-fidelity clinical simulations can be used by clinicians to acquire technical (physical ability and knowledge) and non-technical (cognitive and social processes) skills. Excessive cognitive workload contributes to medical errors because of the impact on both technical and non-technical skills. Many studies measure cognitive workload with psychometric instruments that limit the assessment of cognitive workload to a single time period and may involve response bias. Using eye tracking to measure task-evoked pupillary responses allows the measurement of changes in pupil diameter related to the cognitive workload associated with a specific activity. Incorporating eye tracking with high-fidelity clinical simulations provides a reliable and continuous assessment of cognitive workload. The purpose of this literature review is to summarize the use of eye-tracking technology to measure cognitive workload of healthcare providers to generate evidence-based guidelines for measuring cognitive workload during high-fidelity clinical simulations. What this manuscript adds to the body of literature is a summary of best practices related to the different methods of measuring cognitive workload, benefits and limitations of using eye tracking, and high-fidelity clinical simulation design considerations for successful integration of eye tracking.