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Журнал » Journal_eng » Journal 35 : E. V. Sinbukhova, A. N. Zankovsky, PSYCHOLOGICAL ASPECTS OF MEDICAL ERRORS
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UDC 159.9.07

DOI 10.25688/2223-6872.2020.35.3.4




E. V. Sinbukhova,

N. N. Burdenko NMRCN, Moscow,



A. N. Zankovsky,

IP RAS, Moscow,



Today patient safety is the main concept of all health systems around the world. Everyone can make mistakes, but medical errors affects patients and their families, and leads to adverse mental and emotional effects on physicians.

The purpose involves development and validation of the «Medical error Scale» that allows to measure the level of anxiety in physicians who reported about the medical error in their practice. The «Medical error Scale» is based on the early version of the Hobgood Test, designed by E. V. Sinbukhova and A. N. Zankovsky (2005). To measure the level of anxiety the «State-Trait Anxiety Inventory — STAI» by Charles D. Spielberger (adapted by Y. L. Hanin for the Russian-speaking population) was also used in this study. The validity of the «Medical error Scale» was established by using Cronbach’s alpha test together with the scales of Error Orientation Questionnaire and State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI).

The anonymous study involved 15 anesthesiologists and intensivists care physicians who reported about their medical error in practice. It was revealed in the study that the level of anxiety in two points was high: state anxiety median — 60, trait anxiety median — 60 (p-value = 0,828 not a significant result). In accordance with the study no one respondent had told about his mistake previously, but 66,7 % of respondents noted that they would like to tell their colleague about it now; over 33,3 % would like also to tell it to the patient’s family.

It is noted in the conclusion that identifying a medical error can be the first step to understanding and correcting it. On the one hand, it will help to improve the quality of medical care, on the other hand, it will help physicians to overcome the negative impact of medical errors on their emotional wellbeing and professional practice. The Appendix of the article also presents the full version of the «Medical error Scale». It is allowed to use the scale with reference to the authors.


Keywords: medical errors; anxiety; medical safety; scale-medical error; validation.


For citation: Sinbukhova Е. V., Zankovsky А. N. Psychological aspects of medical errors // Systems Psychology and Sociology. 2020. № 3 (35). P. 51–60. DOI:10.25688/2223-6872.2020.35.3.4


Sinbukhova Elena Vasilyevna, Medical Psychologist, Neuropsychologist at the N. N. Burdenko National Medical Research Center for Neurosurgery, Moscow, Russia.

Е-mail: ESinbukhova@nsi.ru ORCID: 0000-0003-3665-9416


Zankovsky Anatoly Nikolayevich, Doctor of Psychological Sciences, Professor, Head of the Laboratory of Labour Psychology, Ergonomics, Engineering and Organizational Psychology at the Institute of Psychology of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia.

Е-mail: azankovsky@gmail.com ORCID: 0000-0002-4534-7388




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