Educational environment in intensive care medicine--use of Postgraduate Hospital Educational Environment Measure (PHEEM)

Med Teach. 2007 Sep;29(6):e184-91. doi: 10.1080/01421590701288580.


Background: The educational climate is an important measure within medical education. This is because there are still accounts of poor teaching, humiliation, bullying and harassment of doctors in training. Deaneries and schools must be able to demonstrate to the Postgraduate Medical Education and Training Board that trainees are working and learning in a good environment.

Methods: This study used the Postgraduate Hospital Educational Environment Measure (PHEEM) to measure the educational climate in nine intensive care training schemes within hospitals in England and Scotland. 134 trainees replied out of 190 (71% response). Neither the identities of the nine units nor the trainees were known to the researchers.

Results: The results showed that there was a good overall educational climate in the intensive care units studied, with no racism or sexism, and trainees were happy with their teaching, their support and the work they did. The junior trainees (house officers and senior house officers) perceived a significantly better climate than did the senior trainees (specialist registrars). There were also significant differences in scores for the nine different intensive care units.

Conclusions: PHEEM has proved to be a reliable and consistent tool to assess educational climate with an overall Cronbach's alpha of 0.921.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Critical Care*
  • Education, Medical, Graduate / standards*
  • Educational Measurement*
  • England
  • Factor Analysis, Statistical
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Internship and Residency / standards*
  • Male
  • Psychometrics
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Scotland
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • Surveys and Questionnaires