The assessment of procedural skills in physiotherapy education: A measurement study using the Rasch model
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Sattelmayer, M., Jagadamma, K., Sattelmayer, F., Hilfiker, R. & Baer, G. (2020) The assessment of procedural skills in physiotherapy education: A measurement study using the Rasch model. Archives of Physiotherapy, 10:9.
Background: Procedural skills are a key element in the training of future physiotherapists. Procedural skills relate to the acquisition of appropriate motor skills, which allow the safe application of clinical procedures to patients. In order to evaluate procedural skills in physiotherapy education validated assessment instruments are required. Recently the assessment of procedural skills in physiotherapy education (APSPT) tool was developed. The overall aim of this study was to establish the structural validity of the APSPT. In order to do this the following objectives were examined: i) the fit of the items of APSPT to the Rasch-model, ii) the fit of the overall score to the Rasch model, iii) the difficulty of each test item and iv) whether the difficulty levels of the individual test items cover the whole capacity spectrum of students in pre-registration physiotherapy education.Methods: For this observational cross-sectional measurement properties study a convenience sample of 69 undergraduate pre-registration physiotherapy students of the HES-SO Valais-Wallis was recruited. Participants were instructed to perform a task procedure on a simulated patient. The performance was evaluated with the APSPT. A conditional maximum likelihood approach was used to estimate the parameters of a partial credit model for polytomous item responses. Item fit, ordering of thresholds, targeting and goodness of fit to the Rasch model was assessed.Results: Item fit statistics showed that 25 items of the APSPT showed adequate fit to the Rasch model. Disordering of item thresholds did not occur and the targeting of the APSPT was adequate to measure the abilities of the included participants. Undimensionality and subgroup homogeneity were confirmed.Conclusion: This study presented evidence for the structural validity of the APSPT. Undimensionality of the APSPT was confirmed and therefore presents evidence that the latent dimension of procedural skills in physiotherapy education consists of several subcategories. However, the results should be interpreted with caution given the small sample size.