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Journal ArticleDOI

Development of a questionnaire to assess the perception of dentists towards transgender patients

TL;DR: Although further testing and refinement is needed, this survey instrument provides an initial and conceptually unique tool for assessing the knowledge, attitude and perception of dentists towards transgender patients.
Abstract: Background Transgender community faces immense amount of adversities including less acceptance from family and friends, lack of employment opportunities, verbal and physical abuse, isolation and rejection. A lack of knowledge about the biology and health needs of transgender community and a generalized aversive attitude against them are a few reasons for this discrimination. In spite of their increased health needs, they face discrimination from health care professionals including dentists. Currently, there are no psychosocial tool for examining the knowledge,Objectives attitude, and perceptions of dentists towards transgender patients. Accordingly, a tool was developed and tested to provide an instrument for measuring the same. A thorough literature review and expert panel analysis of theMethods questions was done followed by pretesting of the tool. The responses were marked on a likert scale .Reliability and factor analysis were performed using SPSS software. The final factor analysis loaded as two factors with nine itemsResults which were defined as emotional and cognitive perception. The present item pool was named as dentist perception questionnaire which can be used to assess the perception of dentists towards transgender patients. Conclusions Although further testing and refinement is needed, this survey instrument provides an initial and conceptually unique tool for assessing the knowledge, attitude and perception of dentists towards transgender patients.

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Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The meaning of Cronbach’s alpha, the most widely used objective measure of reliability, is explained and the underlying assumptions behind alpha are explained in order to promote its more effective use.
Abstract: Medical educators attempt to create reliable and valid tests and questionnaires in order to enhance the accuracy of their assessment and evaluations. Validity and reliability are two fundamental elements in the evaluation of a measurement instrument. Instruments can be conventional knowledge, skill or attitude tests, clinical simulations or survey questionnaires. Instruments can measure concepts, psychomotor skills or affective values. Validity is concerned with the extent to which an instrument measures what it is intended to measure. Reliability is concerned with the ability of an instrument to measure consistently.1 It should be noted that the reliability of an instrument is closely associated with its validity. An instrument cannot be valid unless it is reliable. However, the reliability of an instrument does not depend on its validity.2 It is possible to objectively measure the reliability of an instrument and in this paper we explain the meaning of Cronbach’s alpha, the most widely used objective measure of reliability. Calculating alpha has become common practice in medical education research when multiple-item measures of a concept or construct are employed. This is because it is easier to use in comparison to other estimates (e.g. test-retest reliability estimates)3 as it only requires one test administration. However, in spite of the widespread use of alpha in the literature the meaning, proper use and interpretation of alpha is not clearly understood. 2, 4, 5 We feel it is important, therefore, to further explain the underlying assumptions behind alpha in order to promote its more effective use. It should be emphasised that the purpose of this brief overview is just to focus on Cronbach’s alpha as an index of reliability. Alternative methods of measuring reliability based on other psychometric methods, such as generalisability theory or item-response theory, can be used for monitoring and improving the quality of OSCE examinations 6-10, but will not be discussed here. What is Cronbach alpha? Alpha was developed by Lee Cronbach in 195111 to provide a measure of the internal consistency of a test or scale; it is expressed as a number between 0 and 1. Internal consistency describes the extent to which all the items in a test measure the same concept or construct and hence it is connected to the inter-relatedness of the items within the test. Internal consistency should be determined before a test can be employed for research or examination purposes to ensure validity. In addition, reliability estimates show the amount of measurement error in a test. Put simply, this interpretation of reliability is the correlation of test with itself. Squaring this correlation and subtracting from 1.00 produces the index of measurement error. For example, if a test has a reliability of 0.80, there is 0.36 error variance (random error) in the scores (0.80×0.80 = 0.64; 1.00 – 0.64 = 0.36).12 As the estimate of reliability increases, the fraction of a test score that is attributable to error will decrease.2 It is of note that the reliability of a test reveals the effect of measurement error on the observed score of a student cohort rather than on an individual student. To calculate the effect of measurement error on the observed score of an individual student, the standard error of measurement must be calculated (SEM).13 If the items in a test are correlated to each other, the value of alpha is increased. However, a high coefficient alpha does not always mean a high degree of internal consistency. This is because alpha is also affected by the length of the test. If the test length is too short, the value of alpha is reduced.2, 14 Thus, to increase alpha, more related items testing the same concept should be added to the test. It is also important to note that alpha is a property of the scores on a test from a specific sample of testees. Therefore investigators should not rely on published alpha estimates and should measure alpha each time the test is administered.14 Use of Cronbach’s alpha Improper use of alpha can lead to situations in which either a test or scale is wrongly discarded or the test is criticised for not generating trustworthy results. To avoid this situation an understanding of the associated concepts of internal consistency, homogeneity or unidimensionality can help to improve the use of alpha. Internal consistency is concerned with the interrelatedness of a sample of test items, whereas homogeneity refers to unidimensionality. A measure is said to be unidimensional if its items measure a single latent trait or construct. Internal consistency is a necessary but not sufficient condition for measuring homogeneity or unidimensionality in a sample of test items. 5, 15 Fundamentally, the concept of reliability assumes that unidimensionality exists in a sample of test items16 and if this assumption is violated it does cause a major underestimate of reliability. It has been well documented that a multidimensional test does not necessary have a lower alpha than a unidimensional test. Thus a more rigorous view of alpha is that it cannot simply be interpreted as an index for the internal consistency of a test. 5, 15, 17 Factor Analysis can be used to identify the dimensions of a test.18 Other reliable techniques have been used and we encourage the reader to consult the paper “Applied Dimensionality and Test Structure Assessment with the START-M Mathematics Test” and to compare methods for assessing the dimensionality and underlying structure of a test.19 Alpha, therefore, does not simply measure the unidimensionality of a set of items, but can be used to confirm whether or not a sample of items is actually unidimensional.5 On the other hand if a test has more than one concept or construct, it may not make sense to report alpha for the test as a whole as the larger number of questions will inevitable inflate the value of alpha. In principle therefore, alpha should be calculated for each of the concepts rather than for the entire test or scale. 2, 3 The implication for a summative examination containing heterogeneous, case-based questions is that alpha should be calculated for each case. More importantly, alpha is grounded in the ‘tau equivalent model’ which assumes that each test item measures the same latent trait on the same scale. Therefore, if multiple factors/traits underlie the items on a scale, as revealed by Factor Analysis, this assumption is violated and alpha underestimates the reliability of the test.17 If the number of test items is too small it will also violate the assumption of tau-equivalence and will underestimate reliability.20 When test items meet the assumptions of the tau-equivalent model, alpha approaches a better estimate of reliability. In practice, Cronbach’s alpha is a lower-bound estimate of reliability because heterogeneous test items would violate the assumptions of the tau-equivalent model.5 If the calculation of “standardised item alpha” in SPSS is higher than “Cronbach’s alpha”, a further examination of the tau-equivalent measurement in the data may be essential. Numerical values of alpha As pointed out earlier, the number of test items, item inter-relatedness and dimensionality affect the value of alpha.5 There are different reports about the acceptable values of alpha, ranging from 0.70 to 0.95. 2, 21, 22 A low value of alpha could be due to a low number of questions, poor inter-relatedness between items or heterogeneous constructs. For example if a low alpha is due to poor correlation between items then some should be revised or discarded. The easiest method to find them is to compute the correlation of each test item with the total score test; items with low correlations (approaching zero) are deleted. If alpha is too high it may suggest that some items are redundant as they are testing the same question but in a different guise. A maximum alpha value of 0.90 has been recommended.14 Summary High quality tests are important to evaluate the reliability of data supplied in an examination or a research study. Alpha is a commonly employed index of test reliability. Alpha is affected by the test length and dimensionality. Alpha as an index of reliability should follow the assumptions of the essentially tau-equivalent approach. A low alpha appears if these assumptions are not meet. Alpha does not simply measure test homogeneity or unidimensionality as test reliability is a function of test length. A longer test increases the reliability of a test regardless of whether the test is homogenous or not. A high value of alpha (> 0.90) may suggest redundancies and show that the test length should be shortened.

8,701 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Investigation found that experiencing economic discrimination because one is transgendered had the strongest association with experiencing a transgender related violent incident, and economic discrimination was related totransgendered people's experience with violence.
Abstract: There is a pervasive pattern of discrimination and prejudice against transgendered people within society. Both economic discrimination and experiencing violence could be the result of a larger social climate that severely sanctions people for not conforming to society's norms concerning gender; as such, both would be strongly associated with each other. Questionnaires were distributed to people either through events or through volunteers, and made available upon the World Wide Web. A sample of 402 cases was collected over the span of 12 months (April 1996-April 1997). We found that over half the people within this sample experienced some form of harassment or violence within their lifetime, with a quarter experiencing a violent incident. Further investigation found that experiencing economic discrimination because one is transgendered had the strongest association with experiencing a transgender related violent incident. Economic discrimination was related to transgendered people's experience wit...

799 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
20 Sep 2018-PLOS ONE
TL;DR: Despite high comfort levels and positive attitudes towards LGBTQ health, most student respondents did not report adequate formal preparation, and significant gaps in training exist across disciplines.
Abstract: Background Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) populations face multiple health disparities including barriers to healthcare. Few studies have examined healthcare trainees’ perceptions of their preparedness to care for LGBTQ populations and none have compared perceptions of training across medicine, dental medicine, and nursing. We aimed to understand variations across disciplines in LGBTQ health by assessing medical, dental, and nursing students’ perceptions of preparedness across three domains: comfort levels, attitudes, and formal training. Methods We developed a 12-item survey with an interprofessional panel of LGBTQ students from the schools of medicine, dental medicine, and nursing at a top-tier private university in the United States. Any student enrolled full time in any of the three schools were eligible to respond. We performed descriptive statistical analyses and examined patterns in responses using Kruskal-Wallis tests and an ordered logistic regression model. Results 1,010 students from the Schools of Medicine, Dental Medicine, and Nursing responded to the survey for an overall response rate of 43%. While 70–74% of all student respondents felt comfortable treating LGBTQ patients, fewer than 50% agreed that their formal training had prepared them to do so. Overall, 71–81% of students reported interest in receiving formal LGBTQ health education, though dental students were significantly less likely than medical students to report this interest (OR 0.53, p<0.01). Respondents who identified as LGBQ were significantly less likely than heterosexual students to agree that training was effective (OR 0.55, p<0.01) and that their instructors were competent in LGBTQ health (OR 0.56, p<0.01). Conclusion Despite high comfort levels and positive attitudes towards LGBTQ health, most student respondents did not report adequate formal preparation. There were some significant differences between disciplines, but significant gaps in training exist across disciplines. Health professional schools should develop formal content on LGBTQ health and utilize this content as an opportunity for interprofessional training.

75 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Nursing curricula must challenge the gender binary to better prepare nurses to provide quality care for patients of all genders, revealed nurses' discomfort and lack of knowledge about transgender people and their health care needs.
Abstract: This study explored practicing nurses' knowledge of the needs of transgender patients. Structured interviews were conducted with 268 nurses in the San Francisco Bay Area. This study focused on the responses to 1 item in the 16-item interview, "Describe health care issues that are particular to transgender patients." Three themes emerged from the data: discomfort, transition, and harsh consequences of being transgender. These findings revealed nurses' discomfort and lack of knowledge about transgender people and their health care needs. Nursing curricula must challenge the gender binary to better prepare nurses to provide quality care for patients of all genders.

72 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
01 Apr 2018
TL;DR: NPs in this study perceive gaps in their knowledge that threaten their ability to deliver quality, patient-centered care to transgender patients, despite their best intentions.
Abstract: Purpose: The aim of this study was to explore Nurse Practitioner (NP) knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs when working with transgender people and to inform about Practitioner education needs. Methods: A qualitative descriptive design was used to explore (NP) experiences. Focused semistructured interviews were conducted in 2016 with 11 (N=11) NPs in the northeastern United States who represent various years of experience and encounters with transgender patients. The interviews explored NP knowledge attitudes and beliefs when caring for transgender patients and described their overall experiences in rendering care in the clinical setting. The interviews were professionally transcribed and analyzed independently and jointly by two investigators using conventional content analysis. Results: Four main themes and six subthemes were identified: Main themes include personal and professional knowledge gaps, fear and uncertainty, caring with intention and pride, and creating an accepting environment. Conclusions: NPs in this study perceive gaps in their knowledge that threaten their ability to deliver quality, patient-centered care to transgender patients, despite their best intentions. These findings have implications for changes in nursing practice, education, and research needed to address vital gaps in the healthcare of transgender people.

48 citations