Tools to Assess Behavioral and Social Science Competencies in Medical Education: A Systematic Review

Patricia (Patty) Carney, Ryan T. Palmer, Marissa Fuqua Miller, Erin K. Thayer, Sue E. Estroff, Debra K. Litzelman, Frances Biagioli, Cayla R. Teal, Ann Lambros, William J. Hatt, Jason M. Satterfield

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

16 Scopus citations

Abstract

PURPOSE: Behavioral and social science (BSS) competencies are needed to provide quality health care, but psychometrically validated measures to assess these competencies are difficult to find. Moreover, they have not been mapped to existing frameworks, like those from the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) and Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME). This systematic review aimed to identify and evaluate the quality of assessment tools used to measure BSS competencies. METHOD: The authors searched the literature published between January 2002 and March 2014 for articles reporting psychometric or other validity/reliability testing, using OVID, CINAHL, PubMed, ERIC, Research and Development Resource Base, SOCIOFILE, and PsycINFO. They reviewed 5,104 potentially relevant titles and abstracts. To guide their review, they mapped BSS competencies to existing LCME and ACGME frameworks. The final included articles fell into three categories: instrument development, which were of the highest quality; educational research, which were of the second highest quality; and curriculum evaluation, which were of lower quality. RESULTS: Of the 114 included articles, 33 (29%) yielded strong evidence supporting tools to assess communication skills, cultural competence, empathy/compassion, behavioral health counseling, professionalism, and teamwork. Sixty-two (54%) articles yielded moderate evidence and 19 (17%) weak evidence. Articles mapped to all LCME standards and ACGME core competencies; the most common was communication skills. CONCLUSIONS: These findings serve as a valuable resource for medical educators and researchers. More rigorous measurement validation and testing and more robust study designs are needed to understand how educational strategies contribute to BSS competency development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAcademic Medicine
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Jan 19 2016

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Education

Cite this

Carney, P. P., Palmer, R. T., Fuqua Miller, M., Thayer, E. K., Estroff, S. E., Litzelman, D. K., ... Satterfield, J. M. (Accepted/In press). Tools to Assess Behavioral and Social Science Competencies in Medical Education: A Systematic Review. Academic Medicine. https://doi.org/10.1097/ACM.0000000000001090