Comparison of recidivism rates for a teenage trauma prevention program after the addition of high-fidelity patient simulation

<p><b>Objectives</b>: We evaluated the benefits of adding high-fidelity simulation to a teenage trauma prevention program to decrease recidivism rates and encourage teens to discuss actionable steps toward safe driving.</p> <p><b>Methods</b>: A simulated pediatric trauma scenario was integrated into an established trauma prevention program. Participants were recruited because they were court-ordered to attend this program after misdemeanor convictions for moving violations. The teenage participants viewed this simulation from the emergency medical services (EMS) handoff to complete trauma care. Participants completed a postsimulation knowledge assessment and care evaluation, which included narrative data about the experience. Qualitative analysis of color-coded responses identified common themes and experiences in participants' answers. Court records were reviewed 6 years after course completion to determine short- and long-term recidivism rates, which were then compared to our program's historical rate.</p> <p><b>Results</b>: One hundred twenty-four students aged 16–20 years participated over a 2-year study period. Narrative responses included general reflection, impressions, and thoughts about what they might change as a result of the course. Participants reported that they would decrease speed (30%), wear seat belts (15%), decrease cell phone use (11%), and increase caution (28%). The recidivism rate was 55% within 6 years. At 6 months it was 8.4%, at 1 year it was 20%, and it increased approximately 5–8% per year after the first year. Compared with our programs, for historical 6-month and 2-year recidivism rates, no significant difference was seen with or without simulation.</p> <p><b>Conclusions</b>: Adding simulation is well received by participants and leads to positive reflections regarding changes in risk-taking behaviors but resulted in no changes to the high recidivism rates This may be due to the often ineffectiveness of fear appeals.</p>