Systematic Evaluation of the Teaching Qualities of Obstetrics and Gynecology Faculty: Reliability and Validity of the SETQ Tools

Van der Leeuw et al. 2011 Public Library of Science ONE

Systematic Evaluation of the Teaching Qualities of Obstetrics and Gynecology Faculty: Reliability and Validity of the SETQ Tools

Background: The importance of effective clinical teaching for the quality of future patient care is globally understood. Due to recent changes in graduate medical education, new tools are needed to provide faculty with reliable and individualized feedback on their teaching qualities. This study validates two instruments underlying the System for Evaluation of Teaching Qualities (SETQ) aimed at measuring and improving the teaching qualities of obstetrics and gynecology faculty.

Methods and Materials: This cross-sectional multi-center questionnaire study was set in seven general teaching hospitals and two academic medical centers in the Netherlands. Seventy-seven residents and 114 faculty were invited to complete the SETQ instruments in the duration of one month from September 2008 to September 2009. To assess reliability and validity of the instruments, we used exploratory factor analysis, inter-item correlation, reliability coefficient alpha and inter-scale correlations. We also compared composite scales from factor analysis to global ratings. Finally, the number of residents’ evaluations needed per faculty for reliable assessments was calculated. A total of 613 evaluations were completed by 66 residents (85.7% response rate). 99 faculty (86.8% response rate) participated in self-evaluation. Factor analysis yielded five scales with high reliability (Cronbach’s alpha for residents’ and faculty): learning climate (0.86 and 0.75), professional attitude (0.89 and 0.81), communication of learning goals (0.89 and 0.82), evaluation of residents (0.87 and 0.79) and feedback (0.87 and 0.86). Item-total, inter-scale and scale-global rating correlation coefficients were significant (P<0.01). Four to six residents’ evaluations are needed per faculty (reliability coefficient 0.60-0.80).

Results: A total of 403 (73.8%) residents completed 3575 evaluations of 570 medical faculty while 494 (78.5%) faculty selfevaluated. In both instruments five composite-scales of faculty teaching qualities were detected with high internal consistency and reliability: learning climate (Cronbach’s alpha of 0.85 for residents’ instrument, 0.71 for self-evaluation instrument, professional attitude and behavior (0.84/0.75), communication of goals (0.90/0.84), evaluation of residents (0.91/0.81), and feedback (0.91/0.85). Faculty tended to evaluate themselves higher than did the residents. Up to a third of the total variance in various teaching qualities can be attributed to between-faculty differences. Some seven residents’ evaluations per faculty are needed for assessments to attain a reliability level of 0.90.

Conclusions: Both SETQ instruments were found reliable and valid for evaluating teaching qualities of obstetrics and gynecology faculty. Future research should examine improvement of teaching qualities when using SETQ.