Background: The Dundee Ready Education Environment Measure (DREEM) was published in 1997 as a tool to evaluate educational environments of medical schools and other health training settings and a recent review concluded that it was the most suitable such instrument.
Aims: This study aimed to review the settings and purposes to which the DREEM has been applied and the approaches used to analyse and report it, with a view to guiding future users towards appropriate methodology.
Method: A systematic literature review was conducted using the Web of Knowledge databases of all articles reporting DREEM data between 1997 and 4 January 2011.
Results: The review found 40 publications, using data from 20 countries. DREEM is used in evaluation for diagnostic purposes, comparison between different groups and comparison with ideal/expected scores. A variety of non-parametric and parametric statistical methods have been applied, but their use is inconsistent.
Conclusions: DREEM has been used internationally for different purposes and is regarded as a useful tool by users. However, reporting and analysis differs between publications. This lack of uniformity makes comparison between institutions difficult. Most users of DREEM are not statisticians and there is a need for informed guidelines on its reporting and statistical analysis.