Medical student and junior doctors' tolerance of ambiguity: development of a new scale.
The practice of medicine involves inherent ambiguity, arising from limitations of knowledge, diagnostic problems, complexities of treatment and outcome and unpredictability of patient response. Research into doctors' tolerance of ambiguity is hampered by poor conceptual clarity and inadequate measurement scales. We aimed to create and pilot a measurement scale for tolerance of ambiguity in medical students and junior doctors that addresses the limitations of existing scales. After defining tolerance of ambiguity, scale items were generated by literature review and expert consultation. Feedback on the draft scale was sought and incorporated. 411 medical students and 75 foundation doctors in Exeter, UK were asked to complete the scale. Psychometric analysis enabled further scale refinement and comparison of scale scores across subgroups. The pilot study achieved a 64% response rate. The final 29 item version of the Tolerance of Ambiguity in Medical Students and Doctors (TAMSAD) scale had good internal reliability (Cronbach's α 0.80). Tolerance of ambiguity was higher in foundation year 2 doctors than first, third and fourth year medical students (-5.23, P = 0.012; -5.98, P = 0.013; -4.62, P = 0.035, for each year group respectively). The TAMSAD scale offers a valid and reliable alternative to existing scales. Further work is required in different settings and in longitudinal studies but this study offers intriguing provisional insights.
|dc.format.extent||113 - 130||en|
|dc.subject||Reproducibility of Results||en|
|dc.subject||Surveys and Questionnaires||en|
|dc.title||Medical student and junior doctors' tolerance of ambiguity: development of a new scale.||en|
|plymouth.journal||Adv Health Sci Educ Theory Pract||en|
|plymouth.organisational-group||/Plymouth/00 Groups by role|
|plymouth.organisational-group||/Plymouth/00 Groups by role/Academics|
|plymouth.organisational-group||/Plymouth/Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry|
|plymouth.organisational-group||/Plymouth/Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry/CAMERA|
|plymouth.organisational-group||/Plymouth/Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry/Peninsula Medical School|
|plymouth.organisational-group||/Plymouth/REF 2021 Researchers by UoA|
|plymouth.organisational-group||/Plymouth/REF 2021 Researchers by UoA/UoA23 Education|