The development of a scale to measure personal reflection in medical practice and education

Center for Research and Innovation of Medical Education, University of Groningen and University Medical Center Groningen, The Netherlands.
Medical Teacher (Impact Factor: 1.68). 04/2007; 29(2-3):177-82. DOI: 10.1080/01421590701299272
Source: PubMed


Personal reflection is important for acquiring, maintaining and enhancing balanced medical professionalism. A new scale, the Groningen Reflection Ability Scale (GRAS), was developed to measure the personal reflection ability of medical students.
Explorative literature study was conducted to gather an initial pool of items. Item selection took place using qualitative and quantitative methods. Medical teachers screened the initial item-pool on relevance, expert-analysis was used for screening the fidelity to the criterion and large samples of medical students and medical teachers were used to investigate the psychometric characteristics of the items. Finally, explorative factor analysis was used to investigate the structure of the scale.
The psychometric quality and content validity of the GRAS are satisfactory. The items cover three aspects of personal reflection: self-reflection, empathetic reflection and reflective communication. The 23-item scale proved to be easy to complete and to administer.
The GRAS is a practical measurement instrument that yields reliable data that contribute to valid inferences about the personal reflection ability of medical students and doctors, both at individual and group level.

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    • "This assesses the perception, appraisal and expression of emotion, emotional facilitation of thinking, understanding, analysis and employment of emotional knowledge, and the regulation of emotion. Reflective ability was assessed by a 23-item scale developed by Aukes et al. (2007), encompassing self-reflection, empathetic reflection and reflective communication. Empathy was measured using a 21-item scale adapted from a measure developed by Davis (1983). "
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    • "declare that personal reflection is the examination of one's experiences to help clarify and create meaning of the experiences, and to promote learning [11]. "
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    • "Reflection ranged from a single perspective to a balanced approach considering multiple relevant perspectives. Aukes et al [13] emphasised emotional and communication components when they conceptualised personal reflection as a combination of self-reflection, empathic reflection, and reflective communication. Sobral's [14] emphasis on reflection-in-learning approached reflection from a learning perspective. "
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