Article Text

Clinician’s gaze behaviour in simulated paediatric emergencies
  1. Ben McNaughten1,
  2. Caroline Hart1,
  3. Stephen Gallagher2,
  4. Carol Junk1,
  5. Patricia Coulter1,
  6. Andrew Thompson1,
  7. Thomas Bourke1,3
  1. 1Department of Paediatrics, Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children, Belfast, UK
  2. 2Department of Behavioural Psychology, School of Psychology, Ulster University, Coleraine, UK
  3. 3Department of Medical Education, Centre for Medical Education, Queen’s University Belfast, Belfast, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Ben McNaughten, Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children, Belfast BT12 6BE, UK; bmcnaughten095{at}


Aim Differences in the gaze behaviour of experts and novices are described in aviation and surgery. This study sought to describe the gaze behaviour of clinicians from different training backgrounds during a simulated paediatric emergency.

Methods Clinicians from four clinical areas undertook a simulated emergency. Participants wore SMI (SensoMotoric Instruments) eye tracking glasses. We measured the fixation count and dwell time on predefined areas of interest and the time taken to key clinical interventions.

Results Paediatric intensive care unit (PICU) consultants performed best and focused longer on the chest and airway. Paediatric consultants and trainees spent longer looking at the defibrillator and algorithm (51 180 ms and 50 551 ms, respectively) than the PICU and paediatric emergency medicine consultants.

Conclusions This study is the first to describe differences in the gaze behaviour between experts and novices in a resuscitation. They mirror those described in aviation and surgery. Further research is needed to evaluate the potential use of eye tracking as an educational tool.

  • eye tracking
  • gaze behaviour
  • simulation
  • resuscitation
  • paediatric emergencies

Statistics from


  • Contributors BM wrote the first draft. All other authors reviewed the manuscript and agreed on the final version for submission.

  • Funding This research received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Not required.

  • Ethics approval Belfast Health and Social Care Trust Governance Department.

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

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.

Linked Articles

  • Editorial
    Damian Roland