Open Access Research article

The DREEM, part 1: measurement of the educational environment in an osteopathy teaching program

Brett Vaughan12*, Annie Carter1, Chris Macfarlane1 and Tracy Morrison1

Author Affiliations

1 College of Health & Biomedicine, Victoria University, Melbourne, Australia

2 Institute of Sport, Exercise and Active Living, Victoria University, Melbourne, Australia

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BMC Medical Education 2014, 14:99  doi:10.1186/1472-6920-14-99

Published: 20 May 2014



Measurement of the educational environment has become more common in health professional education programs. Information gained from these investigations can be used to implement and measure changes to the curricula, educational delivery and the physical environment. A number of questionnaires exist to measure the educational environment, and the most commonly utilised of these is the Dundee Ready Educational Environment Measure (DREEM).


The DREEM was administered to students in all year levels of the osteopathy program at Victoria University (VU), Melbourne, Australia. Students also completed a demographic survey. Inferential and correlational statistics were employed to investigate the educational environment based on the scores obtained from the DREEM.


A response rate of 90% was achieved. The mean total DREEM score was 135.37 (+/- 19.33) with the scores ranging from 72 to 179. Some subscales and items demonstrated differences for gender, clinical phase, age and whether the student was in receipt of a government allowance.


There are a number of areas in the program that are performing well, and some aspects that could be improved. Overall students rated the VU osteopathy program as more positive than negative. The information obtained in the present study has identified areas for improvement and will enable the program leaders to facilitate changes. It will also provide other educational institutions with data on which they can make comparisons with their own programs.