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Effect of the framing of questionnaire items regarding satisfaction with training on residents' responses

Guyatt, G. H. and Cook, D. J. and King, Derek and Norman, G. R. and Kane, S. L. and van Inevald, C (1999) Effect of the framing of questionnaire items regarding satisfaction with training on residents' responses. Academic Medicine, 74 (2). pp. 192-194. ISSN 1040-2446

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Abstract

PURPOSE: To determine whether framing questions positively or negatively influences residents' apparent satisfaction with their training. METHOD: In 1993-94, 276 residents at five Canadian internal medicine residency programs responded to 53 Likert-scale items designed to determine sources of the residents' satisfaction and stress. Two versions of the questionnaire were randomly distributed: one in which half the items were stated positively and the other half negatively, the other version in which the items were stated in the opposite way. RESULTS: The residents scored 43 of the 53 items higher when stated positively and scored ten higher when stated negatively (p < .0001). When analyzed using an analysis-of-variance model, the effect of positive versus negative framing was highly significant (F = 129.81, p < .0001). While the interaction between item and framing was also significant, the effect was much less strong (F = 5.56, p < .0001). On a scale where 1 represented the lowest possible level of satisfaction and 7 the highest, the mean score of the positively stated items was 4.1 and that of the negatively stated items, 3.8, an effect of 0.3. CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest a significant "response acquiescence bias." To minimize this bias, questionnaires assessing attitudes toward educational programs should include a mix of positively and negatively stated items.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: http://journals.lww.com/academicmedicine/pages/def...
Additional Information: © 1999 Association of American Medical Colleges
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
Sets: Research centres and groups > Personal Social Services Research Unit (PSSRU)
Date Deposited: 21 Dec 2010 11:59
Last Modified: 21 Dec 2010 11:59
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/31023

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