Factors promoting self-efficacy regarding clinical competence within the Psychologist study program at Umeå University
After a recent revision, the Psychologist study program at Umeå University presently involves more regular practical elements than previously, where the students are trained and examined in various clinical skills. Taken together, this is expected to successively build up the students’ clinical abilities during the program. Still, the question remains as to how this affect the students’ self-efficacy regarding clinical competence.
The aim of the project is to investigate self-efficacy regarding own general and specific clinical competence experienced by the Psychologist students, and how this develops during the study program. Based on theoretical models on transfer, we further aim to investigate factors that may explain the development. The study is expected to generate new knowledge about Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) as applied for a Psychologist study program (short-term) and the Psychologist students’ development of self-efficacy during the course of the program (long-term).
The projects employs self-efficacy as an outcome measure of the students’ belief in own ability to deal with an action in a professional situation. Further, transfer models are used to understand the development of new abilities and knowledge acquired in the program environment may be transferred to another (clinical work), and if these abilities and knowledge are preserved over time. Of importance is to identify which factors that may explain successful application of new abilities and knowledge. The project focuses on three factors: individual factors (motivation and attitudes toward the study program), environmental factors (social support and climate within the study program), and the design of the study program.
Data collection is made by a longitudinal self-report questionnaire based on transfer models and self-efficacy measures. These are important indicators of whether the Department provides a study program of good quality that prepares the Psychologist students for their future work. This type of knowledge may also be of general guidance to pedagogical development at other University vocational training programs.