Applying Sport Psychology in Health Professions Education: a Systematic Review of Performance Mental Skills Training

JOHN SANDARS, Liam Jenkins, Helen Church, Rakesh Patel, James Rumbold, MICHELLE MADEN, Mumtaz Patel, KEVIN HENSHAW, JEREMY BROWN

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    Health professionals are expected to consistently perform to a high standard during a variety of challenging clinical situations, which can provoke stress and impair their performance. There is increasing interest in applying sport psychology training using performance mental skills (PMS) immediately before and during performance.

    A systematic review of the main relevant databases was conducted with the aim to identify how PMS training (PMST) has been applied in health professions education and its outcomes.

    The 20 selected studies noted the potential for PMST to improve performance, especially for simulated situations. The key implementation components were a multimodal approach that targeted several PMS in combination and delivered face to face delivery in a group by a trainer with expertise in PMS. The average number of sessions was 5 and of 57 minutes duration, with structured learner guidance, an opportunity for practice of the PMS and a focus on application for transfer to another context.

    Future PMST can be informed by the key implementation components identified in the review but further design and development research is essential to close the gap in current understanding of the effectiveness of PMST and its key implementation components, especially in real-life situations.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number44:1
    Pages (from-to)71-78
    Number of pages8
    JournalMedical Teacher
    Early online date26 Sept 2021
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2022


    • performance stress
    • sport psychology
    • mental skills
    • training


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