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Med Teach. 2019 Feb 8:1-14. doi: 10.1080/0142159X.2018.1562166. [Epub ahead of print]

Non-technical skills assessments in undergraduate medical education: A focused BEME systematic review: BEME Guide no. 54.

Author information

1
a Department of Evidence Synthesis and Systematic Review , University of Central Lancashire , Preston , UK.
2
b Section of Hospital Medicine , The University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine , Chicago , IL , USA.
3
c School of Life Sciences , University of Leicester , Leicester , UK.
4
d Public Health Sciences , University of Central Lancashire , Preston , UK.
5
e Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching , University of Central Lancashire , Preston , UK.
6
f School of Medicine , University of Central Lancashire , Preston , UK.
7
g Department of Emergency Medicine and Learning Health Sciences , University of Michigan Medical School , Ann Arbor , MI , USA.

Abstract

Consensus on how to assess non-technical skills is lacking. This systematic review aimed to evaluate the evidence regarding non-technical skills assessments in undergraduate medical education, to describe the tools used, learning outcomes and the validity, reliability and psychometrics of the instruments. A standardized search of online databases was conducted and consensus reached on included studies. Data extraction, quality assessment, and content analysis were conducted per Best Evidence in Medical Education guidelines. Nine papers met the inclusion criteria. Assessment methods broadly fell into three categories: simulated clinical scenarios, objective structured clinical examinations, and questionnaires or written assessments. Tools to assess non-technical skills were often developed locally, without reference to conceptual frameworks. Consequently, the tools were rarely validated, limiting dissemination and replication. There were clear themes in content and broad categories in methods of assessments employed. The quality of this evidence was poor due to lack of theoretical underpinning, with most assessments not part of normal process, but rather produced as a specific outcome measure for a teaching-based study. While the current literature forms a good starting position for educators developing materials, there is a need for future work to address these weaknesses as such tools are required across health education.

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