Teaching Soft Skills in Healthcare and Higher Education: A Scoping Review Protocol

Keywords: soft skills, teaching, assessment, healthcare, education


Background: Soft skills and the need for their development have been discussed across industries for many years, predominantly in engineering, hospitality, and IT sectors. The importance of soft skills to career success has been well-documented, but gaps exist on how to teach them. Inter-industry variability and a lack of consensus in identifying and defining important soft skills adds to the problem. New research in teaching soft skills needs to be formally incorporated into training curricula, especially within healthcare and education sectors. This scoping review will answer these research questions: How are soft skills conceptualised, taught and assessed in healthcare and higher education?  

Methods/Design: A search of health, education, and social science databases will be conducted including peer-reviewed and grey literature. Data will be extracted using a combination of the PRISMA ScR and PAGER framework. Analysis will be carried out utilising the PAGER framework and will yield descriptive summaries.

Discussion: The review will collate literature on teaching and assessing soft skills in healthcare and higher education. It will map evidence in relation to current practices and research, gaps, evidence for practice, and research recommendations. The findings will be discussed in the full Scoping Review along with implications for teaching.