Introduction: The aim of this study is to develop a new tool to assess professional behaviour in general practitioner (GP) trainees: the evaluation of professional behaviour in general practice (EPRO-GP) instrument.
Methods: Our study consisted of 4 phases: (1) development of a model of professionalism in general practice based on a literature review on professionalism, competency models of general practice and the overall educational objectives of postgraduate training for general practice; (2) development of the EPRO-GP instrument in collaboration with a sounding board; (3) establishing the content validity of the EPRO-GP instrument using a nominal group technique; and (4) establishing the feasibility of the EPRO-GP instrument in 12 general practice trainees and their general practice trainers.
Results: The model of professionalism in general practice encompassed 4 themes within professionalism: (a) professionalism towards the patient; (b) professionalism towards other professionals; (c) professionalism towards the public; and (d) professionalism towards oneself. These 4 themes covered 26 elements of professionalism. This model provided the framework of the EPRO-GP instrument, which we developed further by operationalising the 26 elements in 127 behavioural items. The expert ratings confirmed the content validity of the instrument with one exception: the element "altruism" was removed as a stand-alone category but it remained throughout the tool in items giving primacy to patient welfare. The results on the feasibility of the EPRO-GP instrument were very encouraging. All tutorials yielded professional behaviour learning points.
Discussion: Our results support the content validity of the EPRO-GP instrument as well as its feasibility as a tool to educate for professionalism in general practice.