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Development and initial validation of a survey to assess students’ self-efficacy in medical school.

Anthony R Artino, Ting Dong, Kent J DeZee, William R Gilliland, Donna M Waechter, David F Cruess, Steven J Durning

UIID-EM: 2 Bookshelf ID: 2012-26707-003


Self-efficacy is a personal belief in one’s capability to successfully execute the behaviors necessary to attain designated types of performances. Sometimes described as task-specific self-confidence, self-efficacy is a key component in many contemporary theories of motivation and learning. The purpose of this study was to develop a survey for measuring students’ medical skills self-efficacy and to collect reliability and validity evidence for the instrument. A secondary purpose was to explore differences in students’ self-efficacy from year 1 of medical school to year 4. We created 19 survey items based on the 6 core competencies of the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education, and we collected data from 304 medical students. Results from an exploratory factor analysis suggested three interpretable factors: patient care self-efficacy (eight items, Cronbach’s α = 0.92), interpersonal skills self-efficacy (three items, Cronbach’s α = 0.76), and evidence-based medicine self-efficacy (three items, Cronbach’s α = 0.79). We then compared students’ self-efficacy at different stages of training using a one-way multivariate analysis of variance. Consistent with our expectations, we found several statistically significant differences, suggesting students’ self-efficacy increased considerably from year 1 of medical school to year 4, F(9, 725) = 30.58, p < 0.001, Wilks’ λ = 0.46. Using this survey, medical educators and researchers have a psychometrically sound tool for measuring students’ medical skills self-efficacy during undergraduate medical education. Practical implications and future directions are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved). (journal abstract)

Keywords: medical skills self-efficacy; rating scale development; medical students; test development; test validity; Medical Education; Rating Scales; Self Efficacy

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