Using Eye Tracking for Measuring Cognitive Workload During Clinical Simulations: Literature Review and Synthesis

Academic Article


  • 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.
  • Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Pubmed Id

  • 10239903
  • Author List

  • Wilbanks BA; Aroke E; Dudding KM
  • Start Page

  • 499
  • End Page

  • 507
  • Volume

  • 39
  • Issue

  • 9