Background: Ward rounds are an essential responsibility for doctors in hospital settings. Tools for guiding and assessing trainees' performance of ward rounds are needed. A checklist was developed for that purpose for use with trainees in internal medicine.
Objective: To assess the content and construct validity of the task-specific checklist.
Methods: To determine content validity, a questionnaire was mailed to 295 internists. They were requested to give their opinion on the relevance of each item included on the checklist and to indicate the comprehensiveness of the checklist. To determine construct validity, an observer assessed 4 groups of doctors during performance of a complete ward round (n = 32). The nurse who accompanied the doctor on rounds made a global assessment of the performance.
Results: The response rate to the questionnaire was 80.7%. The respondents found that all 10 items on the checklist were relevant to ward round performance and that the item collection was comprehensive. Checklist mean-item scores differed between levels of expertise: junior house officers 1.4 (1.0-1.9); senior house officers 2.0 (1.5-2.9); specialist trainees 2.5 (1.8-2.8), and specialists 2.7 (2.3-3.5); median (range) (P < 0.001). A significant correlation was found between global observer scores and nurse scores (r = 0.56, P < 0.001).
Conclusion: The checklist, developed for assessing trainees' performance of ward rounds in internal medicine, showed high content validity. Construct validity was supported by the higher scores of experienced doctors compared to those with less experience and the significant correlation between the observer's and nurses' global scores. The developed checklist should be valuable in guiding and assessing trainees on ward round performance.