Development of a Standardized Assessment of Simulation-based Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation Educational Courses

Ahmed S. Said, Elaine Cooley, Elizabeth A. Moore, Kiran Shekar, Timothy M. Maul, Ramanathan Kollengode, Bishoy Zakhary

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background: In 2020, the Extracorporeal Life Support Organization education task force identified seven extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) educational domains that would benefit from international collaborative efforts. These included research efforts to delineate the impact and outcomes of ECMO courses. Objective: Development of a standardized online assessment tool to evaluate the effectiveness of didactic and simulation-based ECMO courses on participants’ confidence, knowledge, and simulation-based skills; participant satisfaction; and course educational benefits. Methods: We performed a prospective multicenter observational study of five different U.S. academic institution–based adult ECMO courses that met Extracorporeal Life Support Organization endorsement requirements for course structure, educational content, and objectives. Standardized online forms were developed and administered before and after courses, assessing demographics, self-assessment regarding ECMO management, and knowledge examination (15 simple-recall multiple-choice questions).

critical actions during simulation scenarios). Self-assessment evaluated cognitive, behavioral, and technical aspects of ECMO; course satisfaction; and educational benefits. Results: Out of 211 participants, 107 completed both pre- and postcourse self-assessment forms (97 completed both pre- and postcourse knowledge forms). Fifty-three percent of respondents were physician intensivists, with most (51%) practicing at academic hospitals and with less than 1 year of ECMO experience (50%). After the course, participants reported significant increases in confidence across all domains (cognitive, technical, and behavioral, P, 0.0001, 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.2–1.5; P, 0.0001, 95% CI, 2.2–2.6; and P = 0.002, 95% CI, 1.7–2.1, respectively) with an increase in knowledge scores (P, 0.001; 95% CI, 1.4–2.5). These findings were most significant in participants with less ECMO experience. There were also significant reductions in times to critical actions in three of the four scored simulation scenarios. The results demonstrated participants’ satisfaction with most course aspects, with more than 95% expressing that courses met their educational goals. Conclusion: We developed and tested a structured ECMO course assessment tool, demonstrating participants’ self-reported benefit as well as improvement in psychomotor skill acquisition, course satisfaction, and educational benefits. Course evaluation is feasible and potentially provides important information to improve ECMO courses. Future steps could include national implementation, addition of questions targeting clinical decision making to further assess knowledge gain, and multilanguage translation for implementation in international courses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)242-257
Number of pages16
JournalATS Scholar
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2022


  • Extracorporeal Life Support Organization education task force
  • course assessment
  • education
  • extracorporeal membrane oxygenation
  • simulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Education


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