Cross-validation of a learning climate instrument in a non-western postgraduate clinical environment

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BMC Medical Education


© 2018 The Author(s). Background: In postgraduate training, there is a need to continuously assess the learning and working conditions to optimize learning. Students or trainees respond to the learning climate as they perceive it. The Dutch Residency Educational Climate Test (D-RECT) is a learning climate measurement tool with well-substantiated validity. However, it was originally designed for Dutch postgraduate trainees and it remains to be shown whether extrapolation to non-Western settings is viable. The dual objective of this study was to revalidate D-RECT outside of a Western setting and to evaluate the factor structure of a recently revised version of the D-RECT containing 35 items. Methods: We invited Filipino internal medicine residents from 96 hospitals to complete the revised 35-item D-RECT. Subsequently, we performed a confirmatory factor analysis to check the fit of the 9 scale model of the revised 35-item D-RECT. Inter-rater reliability was assessed using generalizability theory. Results: Confirmatory factor analysis unveiled that the factor structure of the revised 35-item D-RECT provided a reasonable fit to the Filipino data, after removal of 7 items. Five to seven evaluations of individual residents were needed per scale to obtain a reliable result. Conclusion: Even in a non-Western setting, the D-RECT exhibited psychometric validity. This study validated the factor structure of the revised 35-item D-RECT after some modifications. We recommend that its application be extended to other Asian countries and specialties.

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