Understanding the performance-related psychological characteristics and skills of doctors: a sport psychology perspective: Performance-related psychological characteristics and skills

JOHN SANDARS, Liam Jenkins, EMMA HUNTLEY

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (journal)peer-review

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Abstract

Introduction
Doctors need to consistently maintain their clinical performance across a range of different situations by managing the stress response provoked by these situations. Six performance -related adaptive and maladaptive psychological characteristics and psychological skills can distinguish between how athletes manage their stress response and consistently maintain an optimal level of performance across a variety of situations. The aim of the study was to understand how the performance-related psychological characteristics and skills identified in athletes are applied by doctors.
Methods
An exploratory qualitative study was conducted with semi-structured interviews. A purposive sample of 10 doctors were interviewed and the data were analysed by template analysis.
Results
Doctors have similar performance-related psychological characteristics and skills as identified in athletes for managing their stress response to consistently maintain optimal clinical performance. The importance of maladaptive characteristics was also identified, especially in junior doctors.
Conclusions
The findings of this pilot study can be used for informing the design of performance-related educational interventions for doctors to manage their stress response for consistently maintaining optimal clinical performance. An important consideration will need to be a focus on specific groups in their career journey and the development of a multi-dimensional, reflective and problem-solving approach.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-7
Number of pages7
JournalMedical Teacher
Early online date31 Mar 2024
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 31 Mar 2024

Keywords

  • Clinical performance
  • psychological skills
  • sport psychology
  • qualitative study

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