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Resuscitation. 2013 Mar;84(3):365-8. doi: 10.1016/j.resuscitation.2012.07.018. Epub 2012 Jul 25.

Development and validation of a multiple choice examination assessing cognitive and behavioural knowledge of pediatric resuscitation: a report from the EXPRESS pediatric research collaborative.

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  • 1Division of Critical Care, Department of Pediatrics, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada.



Assessing the knowledge of Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) based learning objectives of medical trainees is an important evaluation component for both residency programs and for research studies. In this study, a multiple-choice question (MCQ) examination was developed and validated for use in a larger pediatric simulation resuscitation study (EXPRESS study).


Experts in pediatric resuscitation developed two MCQ exams using a set of pre-determined learning objectives. After a single center pilot, the exam was used as an assessment of cognitive skills in the EXPRESS study, a multicenter trial examining the use of scripted debriefing and high-fidelity simulation in pediatric resuscitation education. Results from the MCQ in the pre-intervention phase of the EXPRESS study were used to assess the reliability and validity of the MCQ examination. In addition, an Exploratory Factor Analysis (EFA) was carried to assess the underlying structure of the PALS-based learning objectives.


435 health care professionals completed the MCQ examination with an average score of 69.3%. Significantly higher examination results were seen in physicians vs. non-physicians, senior vs. junior physicians and participants with up-to-date PALS certification. The EFA results indicated four distinct categories of items were assessed.


This short MCQ examination demonstrated reasonable reliability and construct validity. It may be useful to assess pediatric resuscitation knowledge in future studies or courses.

Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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