INTRODUCTION: Current instruments to evaluate the postgraduate medical educational environment lack theoretical frameworks and are relatively long, which may reduce response rates. We aimed to develop and validate a brief instrument that, based on a solid theoretical framework for educational environments, solicits resident feedback to screen the postgraduate medical educational environment quality.
METHODS: Stepwise, we developed a screening instrument, using existing instruments to assess educational environment quality and adopting a theoretical framework that defines three educational environment domains: content, atmosphere and organization. First, items from relevant existing instruments were collected and, after deleting duplicates and items not specifically addressing educational environment, grouped into the three domains. In a Delphi procedure, the item list was reduced to a set of items considered most important and comprehensively covering the three domains. These items were triangulated against the results of semi-structured interviews with 26 residents from three teaching hospitals to achieve face validity. This draft version of the Scan of Postgraduate Educational Environment Domains (SPEED) was administered to residents in a general and university hospital and further reduced and validated based on the data collected.
RESULTS: Two hundred twenty-three residents completed the 43-item draft SPEED. We used half of the dataset for item reduction, and the other half for validating the resulting SPEED (15 items, 5 per domain). Internal consistencies were high. Correlations between domain scores in the draft and brief versions of SPEED were high (>0.85) and highly significant (p<0.001). Domain score variance of the draft instrument was explained for ≥80% by the items representing the domains in the final SPEED.
CONCLUSIONS: The SPEED comprehensively covers the three educational environment domains defined in the theoretical framework. Because of its validity and brevity, the SPEED is promising as useful and easily applicable tool to regularly screen educational environment quality in postgraduate medical education.
- medisch onderwijs