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Saudi J Anaesth. 2019 Jul-Sep;13(3):191-196. doi: 10.4103/sja.SJA_792_18.

Preference of cognitive approaches for decision making among anesthesiologists' in Saudi Arabia.

Author information

College of Medicine, King Saud bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences, Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Anaesthesia Department, King Abdulaziz Medical City, Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.



The aim of this study was to analyze the thinking processes of anesthesia physicians at in Riyadh, Jeddah, and Dammam cities in Saudi Arabia.

Subjects and Methods:

This cross-sectional study was undertaken in the cities of Riyadh, Jeddah, and Dammam in Saudi Arabia. Using a previously published psychometric tool (the Rational and Experiential Inventory, REI-40), the survey was sent through email and social networks to anesthesia physicians working in the targeted hospitals. An initial survey was sent out, followed by a reminder and a second survey to nonrespondents. Analysis included descriptive statistics and Student's t-tests.


Most of the participants (69.2%) were males. At the time of the study, 35% of participants were consultants; 9.6% were associate consultants; 19.2% were registrars, fellows, or staff physicians; and 35.8% were senior residents. Anesthesia physicians' mean "rational" score was 3.22 [standard deviation (SD) =0.49)] and their mean "experiential" score was 3.01 (SD = 0.31). According to Pearson's correlation, the difference of 0.21 between these two scores was not statistically significant (P = 0.35). Male anesthesia physicians tended more toward faster, logical thinking. Consultant anesthesia physicians had faster rational thinking than nonconsultant physicians (P = 0.01). Anesthesia physicians with more than 10 years in practice had faster rational thinking than physicians who had worked for fewer than 10 years (P = 0.001).


This study evaluated anesthesia physicians' general decision-making approaches. Despite the fact that both rational and experiential techniques are used in clinical decision-making, male consultants and physicians with more than 10 years' experience and certified non-Saudi board anesthesiologists prefer rational decision-making style.


Anesthesia; decision-making; experiential; rational

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