In a health setting, an autonomy-supportive environment is one in which the educator promotes the independence and self-determination of the student. This can be achieved in a number of ways, including:
An autonomy-supportive environment can foster a sense of independence and self-determination in the student, which can enhance motivation and learning. It can also help students to develop important self-regulation skills, such as the ability to set goals, monitor progress, and evaluate their own learning.
The evidence  shows that providing a healthy motivational climate has a strong, positive effect on engagement, effort, and well-being (all ➕➕➕➕➕), and a strong, negative effect on distress (➖➖➖➖➖). However, this connection is not direct. The motivational climate leaders provide determines the extent to which individuals’ basic psychological needs (autonomy, competence, and relatedness) are nurtured. The more these needs are nurtured, the more autonomous motivation individuals are likely to have. It is this autonomous motivation that directly influences the aforementioned behavioural and psychological outcomes. Other high-level evidence (albeit not a meta-analysis) aligns with these findings .
One meta-analysis  informs this evidence summary and two systematic reviews [2,3] are provided as further support for the conclusions. The meta-analysis is a high-quality study (➕➕➕➕). The study included experimental, longitudinal, and cross-sectional primary research. It also included a large number (k = 72) of primary studies from across various workplace settings, not just healthcare. Finally, the authors reported that heterogeneity and the likelihood of publication bias was small.