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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 26  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 69

A narrative review of psychomotor abilities in medical sciences: Definition, categorization, tests, and training

Department of Medical Education, Medical Education Research Center, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Zahra Amouzeshi
Department of Medical Education, Medical Education Research Center, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jrms.JRMS_965_19

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Extensive research in the past decades has evidenced differences in the psychomotor ability of individuals resulting from varying levels of experience, age, gender, response precision, compatibility, performance, and ability. Many studies have called for the need to identify psychomotor ability and appropriate tests that can assess it. This review article surveys the definition, categorization, and tests of psychomotor ability as well as training based on psychomotor ability in medical sciences. We searched the literature with no time limit, using the ProQuest, PubMed, and Eric databases, as well as the Google Scholar search engine. The keywords for the search involved psychomotor, psychomotor performance, assessment, psychomotor ability, motor learning, education, training, psychomotor ability testing, and psychomotor skills. Other relevant papers found through hand searching and snowballing were also included in the review. The EndNote X8 was employed as a reference manager tool. Only abstracts of the papers whose full texts were accessible were reviewed after repetitious papers were excluded. The documents were categorized into five groups: definition of psychomotor skills and ability, psychomotor ability components, psychomotor ability tests, identification of psychomotor ability (task analysis), and training. This review article revealed that there is not a single definition for psychomotor ability and its components. However, it can be said that motor abilities are the foundation for the rapid acquisition of skills and according to the neuroplasticity process are learned through training and practice. Given psychomotor abilities vary among individuals, training courses should also provide different levels of psychomotor training for learners. The literature introduces psychomotor tests as a selection tool, a predictor of future professional behavior, and a means to evaluate progress in performance, academic guidance (ability-oriented medical specialty), and curriculum implementation tailored to the needs of learners of varying graduate disciplines. The tests should be profession-specific because each profession entails its peculiar characteristics and abilities. On the other hand, the major problem in studying and analyzing underlying psychomotor skills and abilities is that the components are being investigated by researchers from varying, and usually unrelated, scientific fields. Therefore, it is necessary to have a holistic view through close interaction between the researchers of different sciences to better understand this area.

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