Patient safety in the eyes of aspiring healthcare professionals: A systematic review of their attitudes

Ilaria Tocco Tussardi, Roberto Benoni, Francesca Moretti, Stefano Tardivo, Albino Poli, Albert W. Wu, Michela Rimondini, Isolde Martina Busch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A culture of safety is important for the delivery of safe, high-quality care, as well as for healthcare providers’ wellbeing. This systematic review aimed to describe and synthesize the literature on patient safety attitudes of the next generation of healthcare workers (health professional students, new graduates, newly registered health professionals, resident trainees) and assess potential differences in this population related to years of study, specialties, and gender. We screened four electronic databases up to 20 February 2020 and additional sources, including weekly e-mailed search alerts up to 18 October 2020. Two independent reviewers conducted the search, study selection, quality rating, data extraction, and formal narrative synthesis, involving a third reviewer in case of dissent. We retrieved 6606 records, assessed 188 full-texts, and included 31 studies. Across articles, healthcare students and young professionals showed overwhelmingly positive patient safety attitudes in some areas (e.g., teamwork climate, error inevitability) but more negative perceptions in other domains (e.g., safety climate, disclosure responsibility). Women tend to report more positive attitudes. To improve safety culture in medical settings, health professions educators and institutions should ensure education and training on patient safety.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number7524
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Issue number14
StatePublished - Jul 2 2021


  • Attitudes
  • Junior doctors
  • Patient safety culture
  • Safety culture
  • Young healthcare professionals

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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