Several neonatal simulation-training programs have been deployed during the last decade, and in a growing number of studies, researchers have investigated the effects of simulation-based team training. This body of evidence remains to be compiled.


We performed a systematic review of the effects of simulation-based team training on clinical performance and patient outcome.


Medline, Embase, Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature, and the Cochrane Library.


Two authors included studies of team training in critical neonatal situations with reported outcomes on clinical performance and patient outcome.


Two authors extracted data using a predefined template and assessed risk of bias using the Cochrane risk-of-bias tool 2.0 and the Newcastle-Ottawa quality assessment scale.


We screened 1434 titles and abstracts, evaluated 173 full texts for eligibility, and included 24 studies. We identified only 2 studies with neonatal mortality outcomes, and no conclusion could be reached regarding the effects of simulation training in developed countries. Considering clinical performance, randomized studies revealed improved team performance in simulated re-evaluations 3 to 6 months after the intervention.


Meta-analysis was impossible because of heterogenous interventions and outcomes. Kirkpatrick’s model for evaluating training programs provided the framework for a narrative synthesis. Most included studies had significant methodologic limitations.


Simulation-based team training in neonatal resuscitation improves team performance and technical performance in simulation-based evaluations 3 to 6 months later. The current evidence was insufficient to conclude on neonatal mortality after simulation-based team training because no studies were available from developed countries. In future work, researchers should include patient outcomes or clinical proxies of treatment quality whenever possible.

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