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Acad Med. 2013 Sep;88(9):1340-5. doi: 10.1097/ACM.0b013e31829e75e5.

A shortened version of the Clinical Research Appraisal Inventory: CRAI-12.

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Institute for Clinical Research Education, School of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, USA.



The original Clinical Research Appraisal Inventory (CRAI), which assesses the self-confidence of trainees in performing different aspects of clinical research, comprises 92 items. Completing the lengthy CRAI is time-consuming and represents a considerable burden to respondents, yet the CRAI provides useful data for evaluating research training programs. The purpose of this study is to develop a shortened version of the CRAI and to test its validity and reliability.


Trainees in clinical research degree and career development programs at the University of Pittsburgh's Institute for Clinical Research Education completed the 92-item CRAI between 2007 and 2012, inclusive. The authors conducted, first, exploratory factor analysis on a training dataset (2007-2010) to reduce the number of items and, then, confirmatory factor analyses on a testing dataset (2011-2012) to test the psychometric properties of the shortened version.


Of 546 trainees, 394 (72%) provided study data. Exploratory factor analysis revealed six distinct factors, and confirmatory factor analysis identified the two items with the highest loadings per factor, for a total of 12 items. Cronbach alpha for the six new factors ranged from 0.80 to 0.94. Factors in the 12-item CRAI were strongly and significantly associated with factors in the 92-item CRAI; correlations ranged from 0.82 to 0.96 (P < .001 for each).


The 12-item CRAI is faster and less burdensome to complete but retains the strong psychometric properties of the original CRAI.

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