Factor Analysis of the Attitudes Towards Interprofessional Education Survey
Purpose/Hypothesis: Interprofessional education (IPE) is getting its long due attention in being included and even mandated in health care education curricula such as physical therapy. Researchers have investigated the usefulness of IPE in their respective health care fields. One commonly used IPE survey is the Curran’s Attitudes Towards Interprofessional Education (CATIE). It comprises 29 Likert-scale items divided into three sections. The most common reason for not completing the survey or complaint among respondents is that the survey is lengthy. Here we analyzed the items in the survey for redundancy to determine whether the CATIE may be simplified to increase compliance. Number of Subjects: 126 Materials and Methods: This is a secondary analysis of an IPE survey which included the CATIE among PT and PTA program directors. An exploratory factor analysis with Varimax rotation was performed on the CATIE to determine the redundancy among the items within each section. Factor loadings with Eigen values >1 were retained and contributions to the overall explained variance were calculated. Other features of the factor analysis including the standardized Cronbach’s alpha coefficient of reliability, number of items within a factor, and adverse effects such as the presence of complex items were accounted for to decide the final factor solution for each section. A common theme representing each factor was then used to form new compound questions. Results: The first section on IPE agreement was reduced to 1 dimension with the theme “IPE develops trust and respect among students of other professions that ultimately benefit patients”. The second section on IPE in healthcare teams was also condensed to 1 dimension with the theme “Team approach helps members understand each member’s function that making decisions for patients go quicker”. The third section on IPE in academia produced 2 dimensions: “Faculty should be encouraged to teach with other faculty from other professions to strengthen individual programs” and “Academic institutions should provide support for faculty to teach IPE”. The total explained variance from all the 3 sections ranged from 40-55%. Conclusions: Although there is a potential to reduce the CATIE to only 4 items (from 29), the relatively low percentage of explained variance suggest that more than half of the dimensions are not able to sufficiently capture what the survey is meant to represent for the PT profession. Clinical Relevance: Additional questions need to be created to capture more thoroughly the constructs intended by the survey for the PT profession. A shorter and improved CATIE survey will not only increase response rate but also help us understand more thoroughly the attitudes towards IPE among health care professions.