Between ‘impostor syndrome’ and cognitive load

Emanuele Capogna
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What is ‘Impostor Syndrome’? And how to measure cognitive load in clinical simulations? Our master brewer tells us!

Welcome back to our Pub,

today we bring you an IPA (Indian Pale Ale) pure West Coast style but brewed in Australia. Tasting it you’ll smell jam and curry leaf aromas and on top of that you might feel a little tipsy, but that’s perfectly normal having been called: ‘the Pirate’s beer’.

The brewers addressed the issue of impostor syndrome (a syndrome not associated with being a pirate or not) in the context of health simulation, analysing the prevalence of this phenomenon among simulation trainers and examining which characteristics of this work could be associated with this issue.

In total, 148 simulation trainers from nine countries participated in an online survey. In addition to questions regarding demographic characteristics, the syndrome was measured using two scales, the Clance Impostor Phenomenon Scale (CIPS) and the Leary Impostorism Scale (LIS). The independent variables included gender, time spent on simulation activities per week, years working in this environment and team size.

Impostor Syndrome was identified in 46.6% of the educators. A multivariate analysis of variance revealed no statistically significant interactions of gender, time spent on simulation activities per week, years working in simulation and team size. This phenomenon does not discriminate by gender, does not disappear with experience and is present regardless of team size.

The master brewers, knowing that university and healthcare institutions rely on simulation to train current and future healthcare personnel, realised with this beer that it is necessary to improve the understanding of this phenomenon in the context of healthcare simulation.

[Freeman KJ, Houghton S, Carr SE, Nestel D. Measuring impostor phenomenon in healthcare simulation educators: a validation of the clance impostor phenomenon scale and leary impostorism scale. BMC Med Educ. 2022 Mar 3;22(1):139].

In this second tasting we try an APA (American Pale Ale) style beer brewed in America that has the particularity of having been brewed with a new technology.

The brewers experimented with a method to measure cognitive load in clinical simulations. Their goal was to develop a method to identify clinical activities with a high cognitive load using physiological measurements.

They therefore recruited teams of fire brigade rescuers to participate in a scenario with a paediatric out-of-hospital cardiac arrest patient subject to shock. The scenario was standardised and each team had a leader wearing a functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) device, a functional neuroimaging technique capable of recording changes in the concentration of oxygenated and deoxygenated haemoglobin in the prefrontal cortex, interpreted as cognitive activity. Brassicoli, using this instrument, has realised its potential for physiologically measuring cognitive load and the possibility of identifying clinical situations requiring high cognitive load, suggesting interventions to reduce the latter by preventing errors in treatment.

[Bahr N, Ivankovic J, Meckler G et al. Measuring cognitively demanding activities in pediatric out-of-hospital cardiac arrest. Adv Simul 2023; 8: 15]

I hope you enjoyed these two beers, I look forward to your next tasting.

See you soon

Your Master Brewer


Emanuele Capogna

Emanuele Capogna

Centro Simulazione EESOA View all Posts

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