Teaching and learning spinal anaesthesia: Anaesthetists' attitudes

Dorothy Breen, George Shorten, Lajos Bogar, Annette Aboulafia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)


Background: To identify the determinants of learning for one medical procedural skill, spinal anaesthesia, by eliciting the opinions of anaesthetists in Ireland and Hungary. This objective is one component of a research project, Medical Competence Assessment Procedure (MedCAP) funded by the EU Leonardo da Vinci Lifelong Learning Programme.Methods: An electronic survey was circulated to anaesthetists in Hungary and Ireland. The survey was designed to identify and prioritise determinants of learning. Primary analysis was performed using the proportions of respondents that either agreed or strongly agreed with each question. A secondary analysis was performed comparing responses from Ireland with those from Hungary. Results: A total of 180 of the 810 anaesthetists surveyed responded in Ireland, and 69 out of 225 responded in Hungary. In both countries, more than 90per cent agreed or strongly agreed that acquisition of baseline knowledge, clinical demonstration, trainee motivation, feedback to the trainee, trainer motivation and communication skills were important determinants of learning. However, a greater proportion of Hungarian compared with Irish anaesthetists indicated that training should follow a problembased approach [60/63 (95%) versus 54/124 (43%)]. A greater proportion of Irish anaesthetists indicated that trainee self-awareness was an important determinant of learning [89/122 (73%) versus 22/64 (34%)].Conclusion: Anaesthetists in Ireland and Hungary believe that learning spinal anaesthesia is determined by factors related to the trainee (motivation, knowledge), the trainer (motivation, communication) and the training programme (feedback, demonstration prior to clinical performance). Differences between respondents from the two countries were identified in regard to attitudes towards problem-based learning and self-awareness. These findings can be used to inform the design of training programmes and simulators.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)251-256
Number of pages6
JournalClinical Teacher
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Review and Exam Preparation

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