A validation study of public health knowledge, skills, social responsibility and applied learning.
Vackova D., Chen CK., Lui JNM., Johnston JM.
Objectives: To design and validate a questionnaire to measure medical students' Public Health (PH) knowledge, skills, social responsibility and applied learning as indicated in the four domains recommended by the Association of Schools & Programmes of Public Health (ASPPH). Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted to develop an evaluation tool for PH undergraduate education through item generation, reduction, refinement and validation. The 74 preliminary items derived from the existing literature were reduced to 55 items based on expert panel review which included those with expertise in PH, psychometrics and medical education, as well as medical students. Psychometric properties of the preliminary questionnaire were assessed as follows: frequency of endorsement for item variance; principal component analysis (PCA) with varimax rotation for item reduction and factor estimation; Cronbach's Alpha, item-total correlation and test-retest validity for internal consistency and reliability. Results: PCA yielded five factors: PH Learning Experience (6 items); PH Risk Assessment and Communication (5 items); Future Use of Evidence in Practice (6 items); Recognition of PH as a Scientific Discipline (4 items); and PH Skills Development (3 items), explaining 72.05% variance. Internal consistency and reliability tests were satisfactory (Cronbach's Alpha ranged from 0.87 to 0.90; item-total correlation > 0.59). Lower paired test-retest correlations reflected instability in a social science environment. Conclusions: An evaluation tool for community-centred PH education has been developed and validated. The tool measures PH knowledge, skills, social responsibilities and applied learning as recommended by the internationally recognised Association of Schools & Programmes of Public Health (ASPPH).