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Original research
S-Vest: a novel hybrid method to allow standardised patients to put on the objective physical examination findings of a disease
  1. Dale Berg,
  2. Katherine Berg
  1. Rector Clinical Skills and Simulation Center, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Dale Berg, Rector Clinical Skills and Simulation Center, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA 19107-5084, USA; dale.berg{at}


Background Simulation hybrids combine single modality simulation such as simulated patients (SP) with low-fidelity simulation to create a potentially more powerful set of educational tools. To make a hybrid that is credible, standardised and inexpensive remains a challenge. We describe the development of the simulation vest (S-Vest), an inexpensive, standardised teaching tool that is ‘worn’ by an SP to form a hybrid.

Methods We have created a vest which contains a set of speakers placed in an anatomical manner and produce sounds. The sounds played from a multitrack audio player are recorded in vivo from a patient with the real disease findings. The SP provides history while the vest provides the objective palpable and auscultatory findings. The speakers are placed in the routine standardised locations taught in physical examination.

Results We have developed several case scenarios designed for the vest. One of these cases is an elderly patient with aortic stenosis. The aortic stenosis case audio file has four unique tracks recorded over the precordium. Each track is played at the speaker appropriate to the physical exam findings. The SP plays an elderly man with chest pain. The vest provides the sounds of a loud systolic murmur with marked diminishment of S2 and a palpable thrill.

Conclusions The S-Vest is a low-fidelity, low-cost simulator to use in hybrid and simulation. The S-Vest can be used in a formative and summative Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) station and in skills attainment for learners in healthcare. We believe these tools will be of significant import to teaching clinical skills.

  • affordable
  • simulation
  • hybrid
  • physical examination
  • standardised patients

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  • Contributors DB and KB designed and developed the task trainer, and wrote and edited the manuscript.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data availability statement All data relevant to the study are included in the article.

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