Applying motivational framework in medical education: A self-determination theory perspectives

Fraide A. GANOTICE JR, Karen M. K. CHAN, Siu Ling CHAN, Sarah So Ching CHAN, Kelvin Kai Hin FAN, May P. S. LAM, Rebecca Ka Wai LIU, Gloria H. Y. WONG, Grace Wai Yee YUEN, Jacqueline K. YUEN, Siu Sze YEUNG, Ma Jenina N. NALIPAY, Francis Hang Sang TSOI, George L. TIPOE

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Background: The application of self-determination theory in explaining student achievement has been well-established in various contexts. However, its application to medical education, particularly in interprofessional education (IPE) remains underexplored. Understanding how students’ motivation plays a role in students’ engagement and achievement is essential to optimize efforts to improve learning and instruction.
Objective: This two-stage study aims to contextualize the SDT framework to IPE through the adaptation of the Basic Psychological Need Satisfaction to IPE (Study 1) and to demonstrate how SDT can be applied in IPE by examining a model of SDT constructs (Study 2) in predicting outcomes (behavioral engagement, team effectiveness, collective dedication, goal achievement).
Design: In Study 1 (n=996), we adapted and validated BPNS-IPE using confirmatory factor analysis and multiple linear regression using data from 996 IPE students (Chinese Medicine, Medicine, Nursing, and Pharmacy). In Study 2 (n=271), we implemented an IPE program where we integrated SDT approaches and examined the relationship of SDT constructs with IPE outcomes using multiple linear regression.
Results: Our data supported the three-factor structure (autonomy, competence, and relatedness) of BPNS-IPE, meeting the required model fit. Autonomy predicted team effectiveness (F=51.290, p<.05, R²=.580); competence predicted behavioral engagement (F=55.181, p<.05, R²=.598); while relatedness predicted significantly four IPE outcomes: behavioral engagement (F=55.181, p<.01, R²=.598), team effectiveness (F=51.290, p<.01, R²=.580), collective dedication (F=49.858, p<.01, R²=.573), goal achievement (F=68.713, p<.01, R²=.649).
Conclusions: The SDT motivational framework can be adapted and applied in the IPE context to understand and enhance student motivation in medical education. Potential studies with the use of the scale are provided to guide researchers. Copyright © 2023 The Author(s).
Original languageEnglish
Article number2178873
JournalMedical Education Online
Issue number1
Early online date22 Feb 2023
Publication statusPublished - 2023


Ganotice Jr, F. A., Chan, K. M. K., Chan, S. L., Chan, S. S. C., Fan, K. K. H., Lam, M P. S., . . . Tipoe, G. L. (2023). Applying motivational framework in medical education: A self-determination theory perspectives. Medical Education Online, 28(1). Retrieved from


  • Self-determination theory
  • Interprofessional education
  • Scale application
  • Construct validity
  • Medical education


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