Study objectives: This report describes the construction and validation of a brief self-administered scale to assess sleep knowledge in medical education ("ASKME Survey"). Few measures of this type have been developed previously; none have been validated or widely adopted. The current instrument was designed as a standardized assessment measure for use in medical education in sleep.
Design: Instrument was developed in four phases: initial item selection, expert panel review, reliability and construct validity assessment, and final item selection. Content validity was assessed in six general domains: basic sleep principles; circadian sleep/wake regulation; normal sleep architecture; sleep disorders; effects of drugs and alcohol on sleep; and sleep in medical disorders.
Participants: Medical students at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School (RWJMS) and University of Kentucky College of Medicine; students in clinical psychology, nursing and other health-related professions at Rutgers University; school nurses at Texas Christian University; practicing physicians; accredited sleep specialists.
Measurements and results: Individual item analysis of 30-item survey demonstrated a high degree of discriminant validity. Internal consistency for test items was relatively high (KR-20=0.89). Overall mean percentage correct was highest for accredited sleep specialists (85.3%+/-10.8%) and lowest for school nurses (53.1%+/-13.7%). Significant group differences were observed across all question categories (p < 0.0001). Medical students scored significantly higher than the nurses on questions related to sleep architecture (59.5% vs. 42.5%) and narcolepsy (36.4% vs. 21.3%).
Conclusions: "ASKME" demonstrates a high degree of internal consistency and reliability among survey items. It discriminates between samples with varied levels of education, experience, and specialty training. The survey is currently available via the American Academy of Sleep Medicine website (http://www.aasmnet.org).