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GMS J Med Educ. 2018 May 15;35(2):Doc17. doi: 10.3205/zma001164. eCollection 2018.

Ward rounds in internal medicine: Validation of an Entrustable Professional Activity (EPA) observation checklist.

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Klinikum der Universität München, Institut für Didaktik und Ausbildungsforschung in der Medizin, München, Germany.
Klinikum der Universität München, Medizinische Klinik und Poliklinik IV, München, Germany.


in English, German

Objectives: Ward rounds serve a crucial daily activity in hospitals. Building on the Entrustable Professional Activity "Conducting internal medicine ward rounds" consisting of ten competencies and 25 corresponding activities, this study aims at assessing content and external validity of an observation checklist for this EPA. Methods: A focus group aimed at content validation of the checklist. Five participants therefore evaluated it with respect to comprehensiveness and comprehensibility. To investigate external validity, 14 authentic ward rounds were video-taped and rated by two raters with the adapted observation checklist in terms of the appearance of certain activities in the videos. Results: After some adaptions, participants of the focus group agreed on a checklist consisting of nine competencies, 25 activities and 110 examples of observable behaviours supporting content validity. External validity was studied by using the observation checklist for ratings of ward round videos. The checklist was regarded as a valuable tool to structure observation. Along with the high frequencies of observed behaviour and interrater-reliability, external validity can be assumed. Conclusion: The first scientifically developed comprehensive observation checklist for the EPA conducting a ward round in internal medicine is presented. The checklist is a valuable tool for providing elaborated feedback in undergraduate and graduate medical education. Focussing on multi-institutional validation and the cut offs of the checklist to determine the levels of entrustment are recommended for future research.


EPA; entrustable professional activity; internal medicine ward round; observation checklist; validation study

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