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BMJ. 1997 Nov 29;315(7120):1426-8.

The validity of general practitioners' self assessment of knowledge: cross sectional study.

Author information

1
Goodfellow Unit, Faculty of Medicine and Health Science, University of Auckland, New Zealand. j.tracey@auckland.ac.nz

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To determine whether general practitioners can make accurate self assessments of their knowledge in specific areas.

DESIGN:

67 general practitioners completed a self assessment of their level of knowledge over a variety of topics using a nine point semantic differential scale. An objective assessment of their knowledge was then made by administering true-false tests on two of the topics: thyroid disorders and non-insulin dependent diabetes. The study was repeated with another group of 60 general practitioners, using sexually transmitted diseases as the topic.

SETTING:

General practices in New Zealand.

SUBJECTS:

Random sample of 67 general practitioners in Auckland.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE:

Test scores for self assessment and for actual knowledge.

RESULTS:

Correlations between self assessments and test scores were poor for all three topics studied (r = 0.19 for thyroid disorders, 0.21 for non-insulin dependent diabetes, 0.19 for sexually transmitted diseases).

CONCLUSIONS:

As general practitioners cannot accurately assess their own level of knowledge on a given topic, professional development programmes that rely on the doctors' self perceptions to assess their needs are likely to be seriously flawed.

PMID:
9418092
PMCID:
PMC2127907
DOI:
10.1136/bmj.315.7120.1426
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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