Self Efficacy and the Self Scale: Establishing Validity and Reliability
Purpose: The Student Experiential Learning Framework (SELF) scale was developed to measure physical therapy students’ self-efficacy before and after a 3-semester acute care experiential learning program. Healthcare students in professional programs have improved self-efficacy after simulations and experiential learning modules1-2. Early clinical immersion programs allow students opportunity to both observe and perform – both components of forming self-efficacy beliefs3. We developed a self-efficacy scale to measures both skill specific and general self-efficacy. The SELF scale has three domains: 1) professional behaviors4; 2) basic mobility skills; and 3) general self-efficacy3. We hypothesize there is a relationship between early learning experiences in the acute care setting and self-efficacy for physical therapy students. Methods/Description: The SELF was reviewed by six experienced acute care clinical instructors for content and relevance to establish content validity. Next, the SELF scales were administered to 40 first- year physical therapy students one week prior to their early immersion experience. The SELF was tested for internal consistency, convergent and divergent validity and known groups validity. Cronbach’s alpha will be reported for internal consistency. For convergent validity the SELF was tested against a general self-efficacy scale using a Spearman rho3. To establish divergent validity the SELF was tested against the Physical Therapy Self Efficacy Scale (PTSE)5, Kolb Learning Style Inventory (KLSI)6, and the Big Five Inventory 10 (BFI-10)7 personality test using a Spearman rho. To establish known groups validity the SELF was administered to 46 experienced acute care clinicians who are clinical instructors and a Mann-Whitney U test performed. All statistical analysis was performed using STATA 13. Results/Outcomes: The SELF Scale shows very strong internal consistency with a Cronbach’s alpha of 0.9301. The PTSE, Learning styles, and personality test are not correlated with the SELF scale thus exhibiting strong divergent validity. There is a correlation between general self-efficacy and the skill specific domains of the SELF scale. Comparison of the physical therapy student’s self-efficacy score with experienced acute care clinicians demonstrates excellent known groups validity with a Z score of 6.1653 and a P-value <0.00001. Conclusions/Relevance to the conference theme: Experiential learning, early immersion and simulation labs are necessary to prepare students to move into clinical work. Without outcome measures to assess students it is difficult to determine the effect of the experiences on students. The SELF is a good outcome measure to assess student self efficacy in physical therapy programs. IN accordance with the theme: Building Bridges for the Future Through Curricular and Clinical Innovation, with such strong reliability and validity established, the SELF is useful to DPT programs to assess students for skill specific self-efficacy throughout the professional program. Using the SELF assessment of the gains in self-efficacy can be tracked. This will assist programs with evaluating curricular decisions. Research utilizing the SELF are ongoing and include correlating the SELF with the outcomes of our students in national board exams, in academic achievement in didactic coursework, and achievement in clinical internships.