COVID-19 is an emerging, rapidly evolving situation.
Get the latest public health information from CDC:

Get the latest research information from NIH: Menu

Testing the Efficacy of Two Behavioral Interventions at Recalibrating Physician Heuristics in Trauma Triage

The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Read our disclaimer for details. Identifier: NCT03279575
Recruitment Status : Completed
First Posted : September 12, 2017
Last Update Posted : January 9, 2018
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Deepika Mohan, University of Pittsburgh

Brief Summary:
The objective of this study is to compare the efficacy of two behavioral interventions at recalibrating physician heuristics.

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
Wounds and Injuries Behavioral: Night Shift Behavioral: Graveyard Shift Behavioral: Educational program Behavioral: Control Not Applicable

Detailed Description:
Treatment at trauma centers improves outcomes for patients with moderate-to-severe injuries. Accordingly, professional organizations, state authorities, and the federal government have endorsed the systematic triage and transfer of these patients to trauma centers either directly from the field or after evaluation at a non-trauma center. Nonetheless, between 30 to 40% of patients with moderate-to-severe injuries still only receive treatment at non-trauma centers, so-called under-triage. Most of this under-triage occurs because of physician decisions (rather than first-responder decisions). Existing efforts to change physician decision making focus primarily on knowledge of clinical practice guidelines and attitudes towards the guidelines. These strategies ignores the growing consensus that decision making reflects both knowledge as well as intuitive judgments (heuristics). Heuristics, mental short cuts based on pattern recognition, drive the majority of decision making. The investigators have developed two separate behavioral interventions to recalibrate physician heuristics in trauma triage, and will compare the effect of these interventions, an educational program, and no intervention on physician performance on a virtual simulation.

Layout table for study information
Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Actual Enrollment : 320 participants
Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Intervention Model Description: 1:1:1:1 allocation
Masking: Single (Outcomes Assessor)
Masking Description: We will mask the intervention status of participants when analyzing the data.
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: Testing the Efficacy of Two Behavioral Interventions at Recalibrating Physician Heuristics in Trauma Triage: a Randomized Clinical Trial
Actual Study Start Date : October 29, 2017
Actual Primary Completion Date : December 11, 2017
Actual Study Completion Date : December 11, 2017

Resource links provided by the National Library of Medicine

Arm Intervention/treatment
Experimental: Night Shift
Night Shift is an adventure video game with the transformational goal of teaching physicians key characteristics of patients with non-representative severe injuries - injuries classified by the American College of Surgeons as life-threatening or critical but that do not fit the archetype of injuries typically requiring treatment at a trauma center. Players take on the persona of Andy Jordan, a young emergency physician who moves home after the disappearance of his estranged grandfather (Robert Jordan) and takes up a job in the local Emergency Department (ED). In the preamble, players learn they have two explicit objectives. First, they must diagnose and treat patients who present to their ED. Second they must solve the mystery of Robert's disappearance: was he murdered or has he simply chosen to disappear?
Behavioral: Night Shift
Physicians in this arm of the trial will be asked to play Night Shift, an adventure video game, for two hours.

Experimental: Graveyard Shift
Graveyard Shift is a puzzle video game with the transformational goal of helping physicians derive key triage decision principles for themselves. They complete a three-step game loop to obtain case information, compare cases to determine similarities and differences between cases, and then explicitly state the decision principle that should drive decision making.
Behavioral: Graveyard Shift
Physicians in this arm of the trial will be asked to play Graveyard Shift, a puzzle video game, for two hours.

Active Comparator: Educational program
The educational module consists of two separate apps, both commercially available. myATLS includes a review of each chapter of the Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS) textbook, a series of videos demonstrating common trauma procedures, and clinical resources including checklists for use at the bedside. Trauma Life Support MCQ Review includes 550 multiple-choice questions with correct answers and explanations. The investigators will ask physicians to review the myATLS app and then com
Behavioral: Educational program
Physicians in this arm of the trial will be asked to use myATLS, an app designed by the American College of Surgeons to serve as an adjunct to the ATLS course, and Trauma Life Support MCQ Review, an app designed to help students prepare for the ATLS exam. They will be asked to spend at least two hours on the combined tasks.

Placebo Comparator: Control
Physicians in this arm will not be asked to complete any intervention.
Behavioral: Control
Physicians in this arm will serve as a no-contact control group.

Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. Incidence rate of successful triage [ Time Frame: One month after completion of the intervention ]

    Physicians in all arms of the study will be asked to complete a virtual simulation, upon completion of the intervention, ideally within one month of enrollment.

    The virtual simulation replicates the environment of the ED. Physicians have to manage 10 patients that appear concurrently, while also responding to a series of audio-visual distractors. Specifically, they must provide information on whether they will admit, transfer, or discharge the patients home. The investigators will categorize severely injured patients as successfully transferred (transferred to a trauma center or died in the ED) or not (admitted). We will use a Poisson regression to estimate the association between successful transfer and exposure to the different interventions (Night Shift v. Graveyard Shift v. educational program v. control).

Information from the National Library of Medicine

Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contacts provided below. For general information, Learn About Clinical Studies.

Layout table for eligibility information
Ages Eligible for Study:   Child, Adult, Older Adult
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Emergency medicine physicians who work at a non-trauma center.
  • Emergency medicine physicians who work at a Level III/IV trauma center.

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Emergency medicine physicians who work only at a Level I/II trauma center.
  • Emergency medicine physicians who do not practice in the US.

Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its identifier (NCT number): NCT03279575

Layout table for location information
United States, Pennsylvania
University of Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States, 15213
Sponsors and Collaborators
University of Pittsburgh
Publications automatically indexed to this study by Identifier (NCT Number):
Layout table for additonal information
Responsible Party: Deepika Mohan, Assistant professor of critical care medicine, University of Pittsburgh Identifier: NCT03279575    
Other Study ID Numbers: PRO17090094
First Posted: September 12, 2017    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: January 9, 2018
Last Verified: January 2018
Individual Participant Data (IPD) Sharing Statement:
Plan to Share IPD: Yes
Plan Description: De-identified data will be made available on application to the investigator team.
Supporting Materials: Study Protocol

Layout table for additional information
Studies a U.S. FDA-regulated Drug Product: No
Studies a U.S. FDA-regulated Device Product: No
Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Layout table for MeSH terms
Wounds and Injuries