Intuitive decision-making in medicine across specialties and occupations
These data were collected for our empirical research about the prevalence and the determinants of intuitive decision-making (IDM) in clinical practice. The first data set was obtained from an on-line survey of Hungarian physicians, nurses, medical assistants, and other health care practitioners (N=688). The primary variable [IDM_practice] is a binary (yes / no) response to the following question: "Do you ever rely on intuition in your health care practice, i.e. do you ever make a decision which you feel right about but for which you cannot find a purely rational justification?" Another variable of interest [IDM_study] is a three-option (never / scarcely / extensively) response to the following question: "Was the topic of intuitive decision making in medicine ever discussed in your formal studies or at vocational trainings?" Additionally, the data set contains information about participants' demographic and occupational characteristics. The second data set (independent of the first one) was obtained from an on-line survey of Hungarian physicians (N=104), who were asked to rate 27 medical specialties on well-defined dimensions of 'complexity' and ‘likelihood of emergency’. 'Complexity' ratings (1 to 5) were given in response to the following question: "To what extent is a complex/integrative approach to dealing with patients necessary, requiring the consideration of multiple perceptual and diagnostic aspects along with a variety of treatment options?" 'Likelihood of emergency' ratings (1 to 5) were given in response to the following question: "How often do unexpected situations demanding immediate medical intervention arise?" We have formulated the following five testable research hypotheses: (1) Health care practitioners' propensity to rely on IDM increases with professional experience. (2) Higher responsibility occupations in health care are more conducive to IDM than lower responsibility occupations. (3) The more extensively a health care practitioners has been educated about the topic of IDM in medicine, the higher the probability that he/she will use it in his/her practice. (4) Health care practitioners occupied in medical specialties with ‘high likelihood of emergency’ have a greater propensity to rely on IDM than those occupied in specialties with lower likelihood of emergency. (5) Health care practitioners occupied in medical specialties of 'high complexity' have a greater propensity to rely on IDM than those occupied in specialties of lower complexity.