Aims: The purpose of the study was to determine the validity, reliability, feasibility and satisfaction of the Mini-CEX.
Methods and results: From May 2003 to December 2004, 108 residents from 17 cardiology residency programs in Buenos Aires were monitored by the educational board of the Argentine Society of Cardiology. Validity was evaluated by the instrument's capability to discriminate between pre-existing levels of clinical seniority. For reliability, generalisability theory was used. Feasibility was defined by a minimum number of completed observations: 50% of the residents obtaining at least four Mini-CEX's. Satisfaction was evaluated through a one to nine rating scale from the evaluators, and residents' perspectives. The total number of encounters was 253. Regarding validity, Mini-CEX was able to discriminate significantly between residents of different seniority. Reliability analysis indicated that a minimum of ten evaluations are necessary to produce a minimally reliable inference, but more are preferable. Feasibility was poor: 15% of the residents were evaluated four or more times during the study period. High satisfaction ratings from evaluators' and residents' were achieved.
Conclusion: Mini-CEX discriminates between pre-existing levels of seniority, requires considerable sampling to achieve sufficient reliability, and was not feasible within the current circumstances, but it was considered a valuable assessment tool as indicated by the evaluators' and residents' satisfaction ratings.