Correlation of medical students' situational motivation and performance of non-technical skills during simulation-based emergency training

BMC Med Educ. 2020 Oct 8;20(1):351. doi: 10.1186/s12909-020-02247-6.


Background: Non-technical skills (NTS) are an indispensable element of emergency care and need to be prevalent alongside with good technical skills. Though, questions of how to teach (instructional design) and improve NTS effectively remain unresolved. One adjustment screw to enhance performance of NTS, which is detached from instructional designs and learning efforts might be motivation. Theoretical models and observational studies suggest that high levels of intrinsic (situational) motivation result in better performance and better learning. Therefore, this study analyzed the influence of motivation on performance of NTS, by exploring if high levels of intrinsic motivation lead to better performance of NTS in medical students.

Methods: In this prospective cross-sectional cohort study, the authors assessed the correlation of situational motivation and performance of NTS within a cohort of 449 undergraduates in their 1st to 4th year of medical studies, in a total of 101 emergency simulation trainings. Situational motivation was measured with the validated Situational Motivation Scale (SIMS), which was completed by every undergraduate directly before each simulation training. The NTS were evaluated with the Anesthesiology Students´ Non-Technical skills (AS-NTS) rating tool, a validated taxonomy, especially developed to rate NTS of undergraduates.

Results: Student situational motivation was weakly correlated with their performance of NTS in simulation-based emergency trainings.

Conclusion: Although motivation has been emphasized as a determining factor, enhancing performance in different fields and in medicine in particular, in our study, student situational motivation was independent from their performance of NTS in simulation-based emergency trainings (SBET).

Keywords: Motivation; Non-technical skills; Simulation-based medical education.