Psychometric properties of an instrument to measure the clinical learning environment

K. Boor, F. Scheele, C. P. M. van der Vleuten, A. J. J. A. Scherpbier, P. W. Teunissen, K. Sijtsma

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Objectives: The clinical learning environment is an influential factor in work-based learning. Evaluation of this environment gives insight into the educational functioning of clinical departments. The Postgraduate Hospital Educational Environment Measure (PHEEM) is an evaluation tool consisting of a validated questionnaire with 3 subscales. In this paper we further investigate the psychometric properties of the PHEEM. We set out to validate the 3 subscales and test the reliability of the PHEEM for both clerks (clinical medical students) and registrars (specialists in training). Methods: Clerks and registrars from different hospitals and specialties filled out the PHEEM. To investigate the construct validity of the 3 subscales, we used an exploratory factor analysis followed by varimax rotation, and a cluster analysis known as Mokken scale analysis. We estimated the reliability of the questionnaire by means of variance components according to generalisability theory. Results: A total of 256 clerks and 339 registrars filled out the questionnaire. The exploratory factor analysis plus varimax rotation suggested a 1-dimensional scale. The Mokken scale analysis confirmed this result. The reliability analysis showed a reliable outcome for 1 department with 14 clerks or 11 registrars. For multiple departments 3 respondents combined with 10 departments provide a reliable outcome for both groups. Discussion: The PHEEM is a questionnaire measuring 1 dimension instead of the hypothesised 3 dimensions. The sample size required to achieve a reliable outcome is feasible. The instrument can be used to evaluate both single and multiple departments for both clerks and registrars. © 2007 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)92-99
JournalMedical education
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2007

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