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Imbuing medical professionalism in relation to safety: a study protocol for a mixed-methods intervention focused on trialling an embedded learning approach that centres on the use of a custom designed board game
  1. Marie Ward1,
  2. Eilish McAuliffe1,
  3. Éidín Ní Shé1,
  4. Ann Duffy2,
  5. Una Geary3,
  6. Una Cunningham4,
  7. Catherine Holland4,
  8. Nick McDonald5,
  9. Karen Egan6,
  10. Christian Korpos1
  1. 1 School of Nursing, Midwifery and Health Systems, University College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland
  2. 2 Stage Claims Agency, Dublin, Ireland
  3. 3 St James’ Hospital, Dublin, Ireland
  4. 4 Mater Misericordiae University Hospital, Dublin, Ireland
  5. 5 School of Psychology, Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland
  6. 6 Patient and Public Involvement, Health Service Executive, Dublin, Ireland
  1. Correspondence to Dr Marie Ward; m.ward{at}


Introduction Healthcare organisations have a responsibility for ensuring that the governance of workplace settings creates a culture that supports good professional practice. Encouraging such a culture needs to start from an understanding of the factors that make it difficult for health professionals to raise issues of concern in relation to patient safety. The focus of this study is to determine whether a customised education intervention, developed as part of the study, with interns and senior house officers (SHOs) can imbue a culture of medical professionalism in relation to patient safety and support junior doctors to raise issues of concern, while shaping a culture of responsiveness and learning.

Methods and analysis We will use quantitative and qualitative methods to collect data. The sample size will be approximately 200 interns and SHOs across the two hospital sites. Two surveys will be included with one measuring leadership inclusiveness and psychological safety and a second capturing information on safety concerns that participants may have witnessed in their places of work. The PlayDecide embedded learning intervention will be developed with key stakeholders. This will be trialled in the middle stage of data collection for both interns and SHOs. A detailed content analysis will be conducted on the surveys to assess any changes in reporting following the PlayDecide intervention. This will be compared with the incident reporting levels and the results of the preintervention and postintervention leadership inclusiveness and psychological safety survey. Statistical analysis will be conducted using SPSS. Differences will be considered statistically significant at p<0.05. Semistructured interviews using a critical incident technique will be used for the ongoing analysis and evaluation of the project. These will be transcribed, de-identified and coded into themes.

Ethics and dissemination The study has been granted ethics approval from University College Dublin (Ref. LS-15–19-Ward-McAuliffe: Imbuing Medical Professionalism in Relation to Safety). The study results will be disseminated through peer-reviewed publications.

  • Quality In Health Care

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  • Contributors All the authors have made significant intellectual or practical contributions. MW, EM, AD, UG, UC, CH, NM and KE conceived the project and procured project funding. MW and ÉNS are managing the project including data collection with assistance from CK. ÉNS, EM, CK and MW drafted the manuscript and all authors read, edited and approved the final manuscript.

  • Funding The funding of the study is provided by the Irish Health Research Board Medical Education Research Grant Number MERG-907.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Ethics approval Ethics approval was obtained from the University College Dublin Human Research Ethics Committee (Ref LS-15-19-Ward-McAuliffe: Imbuing Medical Professionalism in relation to Safety (IMP-Safety)).

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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