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Self-efficacy, motivation and anxiety in novice podiatry students


Performance in learning has been linked to a number of factors, including trait-like differences and state-like individual differences such as self-efficacy and anxiety. The aims of this study were to identify the initial level of self-efficacy, motivation and anxiety experienced by students regarding learning scalpel technique and then to identify how this may change following a period of learning.


Participants were recruited from the 2nd year cohorts at the University of SA (UniSA) and Queensland University of Technology (QUT). The Intrinsic Motivation Inventory (IMI) was used to evaluate ‘perceived competence’, ‘effort’ and ‘pressure-tension’ associated with scalpel use. This was implemented prior to students learning scalpel use and then again after a period of exposure to public clinics. Scores for each of these factors were calculated. Paired t-tests were undertaken on scores pre- and post- scalpel learning.


27 students were recruited, 21 from UniSA and 6 from QUT. The mean age of the cohort was 21.4 ± 2.98 years old. None of the students had used a scalpel previously. A mean period of 109 ± 54 days was held between implementation (3 clinics at UniSA and QUT).

Table 1 Mean category values


The IMI determined that during teaching and subsequent use of scalpels students’ ‘perceived competence’ improved and ‘pressure-tension’ reduced. This tool may be used to evaluate the impact of differing teaching methods.

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Correspondence to Ryan Causby.

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This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Causby, R., Hillier, S., Reed, L. et al. Self-efficacy, motivation and anxiety in novice podiatry students. J Foot Ankle Res 6 (Suppl 1), O5 (2013).

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