A systematic review of educational resources for teaching patient handover skills to residents


  • Mark F Masterson Canadian Association of Internes and Residents, Ottawa, Canada Department of Anaesthesiology and Pharmacology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada
  • Richdeep S Gill
  • Simon R Turner
  • Pankaj Shrichand
  • Meredith Giuliani




Background: As physicians reduce their work hours, transfer of patient care becomes more common; this is a time of heightened risk to patients. Training in patient handover skills may reduce this risk. The objective of this study was to systematically review the literature regarding education models available to teach handovers skills to healthcare professionals.

Methods: A systematic review was conducted to identify published educational resources on patient handover skills. Two investigators independently reviewed publications for inclusion/exclusion. A third reviewer resolved any disagreement. Included papers contained an educational resource for teaching handover skills to any health profession in any patient population. Papers were rated on a previously described 4 point scale for quality.

Results: 1746 papers were identified, of which twelve met the inclusion criteria These studies presented information on educational curricula, simulation technologies and didactic sessions. The most common educational method was simulation or role-playing, which is better received by learners than didactic sessions. Teaching handover practices makes residents feel more confident in their handover, and residents receiving adequate handover are more comfortable with their duties.

Conclusions: Although  data are limited, effective training models for handover skills have been described in the literature. Residents and other healthcare practitioners should receive training in handover to improve practitioner comfort and patient care.



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How to Cite

Masterson MF, Gill RS, Turner SR, Shrichand P, Giuliani M. A systematic review of educational resources for teaching patient handover skills to residents. Can. Med. Ed. J [Internet]. 2013 Mar. 31 [cited 2024 May 27];4(1):e96-e110. Available from: https://journalhosting.ucalgary.ca/index.php/cmej/article/view/36552



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