Monthly Archives: July 2012


I do appreciate free WiFi, but this password took four tries to get right.

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Reliability & Validity

There are very few validated instruments in CME assessment.  I’ve only encountered three, and each of these were designed to measure satisfaction.  As to why there are so few validated instruments…it’s pretty simple: 1) validating an instrument is difficult and 2) grant funding in CME research is scarce (forcing the necessary research talent to focus elsewhere).

Of course, an enterprising investigator might see this gap as an opportunity to build a research career in an area with very low competition.  For that person, I’d recommend starting with the following articles:

  1. Downing SM. Face validity of assessments: faith-based interpretation or evidence-based science. Medical Education 2006;40:7-8. (PubMed)
  2. Downing SM. Validity: on the meaningful interpretation of assessment data. Medical Education 2003;37:830-7. (abstract)
  3. Downing SM, Reliability: on the reproducibility of assessment data. Medical Education 2004;38:1006-12. (abstract)


Filed under CME, Methodology, Reliability, Validity