A Mixed Methods Investigation on the Relationship Between Perceived Self-Regard, Self-Efficacy, and Commitment to Serve Among Military Medical Students

Natalie A Nevins, Gail Singer-Chang, Stephanie F Dailey, Rosellen Roche, Fanglong Dong, Sara N Peters, Trevor Thompson, Rebecca Ryznar, Anthony LaPorta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


INTRODUCTION: Routinely faced with potentially traumatizing situations, resilience is critical for military physicians. However, related studies are limited in scope. The current study distinctively combines hyper-realistic immersion training for military medical students with emotional intelligence and hardiness measures. With self-reflection shown to improve performance, qualitative inquiry was concurrently conducted in a mixed methodology approach to provide a uniquely comprehensive perspective on the resilience training needs of this population.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Thirty-four osteopathic military medical students participated in a week-long training simulating real-life combat and mass casualty events. The Emotional Quotient-Inventory 2.0 (EQ-i 2.0) and Hardiness Resilience Gauge were administered as pre- and post-test measures. Paired t-tests were used to determine statistically significant gains, and a multiple case study analysis of a six-student focus group allowed for the synchronization of quantitative and qualitative data. Institutional Review Board approval for the study was obtained through Rocky Vista University with a reciprocal agreement with Touro University California's Institutional Review Board. All students participating in the study received written informed consent.

RESULTS: Qualitative findings for this study aligned with this current year's findings of statistically significant results in the improvement of the Overall EQ-i and Overall Hardiness. Qualitative responses thematically analyzed demonstrated environmental realism, adaptation, increased awareness, and positive interpersonal and clinical outlook. Notable increases occurred in all EQ-i domains except Decision-Making and Stress Tolerance. The Self-Perception domain saw significant increases in Self-Regard and Emotional Self-Awareness while Well-Being and Optimism simultaneously improved.

CONCLUSION: This unique pilot study showed that quantitative and qualitative results aligned, supporting the finding that a safe trauma-related training environment can improve the confidence and resilience in military medical students. The goal of this training was to promote resilience and mitigate trauma. Results demonstrate improved self-efficacy and enhanced commitment. Increases in self-awareness and confidence made participants more inclined to see their worth and strengthened their sense of duty as described in their qualitative responses. Pervasive gains suggest that the training aligned well with its purpose, and the methods employed enhanced participant experience. Long-term follow-up studies are needed to assess outcome sustainability.

Original languageEnglish
JournalMilitary Medicine
StateE-pub ahead of print - 19 Jan 2023


Dive into the research topics of 'A Mixed Methods Investigation on the Relationship Between Perceived Self-Regard, Self-Efficacy, and Commitment to Serve Among Military Medical Students'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this