In pursuit of a valid information assessment method for continuing education: a mixed methods study
Department of Family Medicine, McGill University, 5858 Côte-des-neiges, 3rd Floor, Suite 300, Montreal, QC H3S 1Z1, Canada
BMC Medical Education 2013, 13:137 doi:10.1186/1472-6920-13-137Published: 7 October 2013
The Information Assessment Method (IAM) is a popular tool for continuing education and knowledge translation. After a search for information, the IAM allows the health professional to report what was the search objective, its cognitive impact, as well as any use and patient health benefit associated with the retrieved health information. In continuing education programs, professionals read health information, rate it using the IAM, and earn continuing education credit for this brief individual reflective learning activity. IAM items have been iteratively developed using literature reviews and qualitative studies. Thus, our research question was: what is the content validity of IAM items from the users’ perspective?
A two-step content validation study was conducted. In Step 1, we followed a mixed methods research design, and assessed the relevance and representativeness of IAM items. In this step, data from a longitudinal quantitative study and a qualitative multiple case study involving 40 family physicians were analyzed. In Step 2, IAM items were analyzed and modified based on a set of guiding principles by a multi-disciplinary expert panel.
The content validity of 16 IAM items was supported, and these items were not changed. Nine other items were modified. Three new items were added, including two that were extensions of an existing item.
A content validated version of the IAM (IAM 2011) is available for the continuing education of health professionals.