Development and validation of a psychometric tool to measure the risk propensity of junior emergency doctors.

Grant ID: EMSS-224R24-2015

Project Summary

This pilot project brings together experts from the fields of emergency medicine, medical education and organisational psychology. Its aim is to develop a tool which may be used to evaluate risk propensity in emergency doctors.

An individual’s propensity for risk and their decision making involving risk have both positive and negative consequences. It is most often revealed when faced with scenarios that involve a trade-off amongst competing demands. Risk-related behaviour may cause harm to self, staff and patients; however it can also be used positively when the potential benefit is high, e.g. when the risk associated with a procedure is considered acceptable to improve quality of life. Risk propensity is the measure of the balance between the perceived risk and the perceived benefit with the resultant action or behaviour. An individual’s knowledge of, and insight into, their own risk propensity will be of value to self-directed and learned behavioural change. The project will develop and evaluate a tool specifically aimed at junior emergency doctors who, owing to the nature of their patient contact (i.e. acute, trauma) are highly time critical in their decision making.

Resultant application of the tool will be the basis of an ARC application in 2016. Results will inform medical educators how to target support, counseling and training of junior doctors in emergency medicine to be self-aware of their own propensity for risk and use it to best advantage for their psychological well-being, their personal safety and importantly the well-being of their colleagues and patients.


Amount Awarded


Grant Scheme


Principal Investigator:
Dr Charley McNabb

Co Investigators:
A/Prof Diann Eley
Dr Robert Eley

Associate Investigators:
Dr Georgia Livesay
Dr Michael Sinnott


Collaborating Institutions

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