Medical tasks self-efficacy : initial scale development

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Mellum, Karen M. W.
Bowman, Sharon L.
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Thesis (Ph. D.)
Department of Counseling Psychology and Guidance Services
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This investigation examined the self-efficacy beliefs of medical professionals towards medically-related tasks. Although several instruments existed that measured different aspects of career self-efficacy, none of them was relevant nor appropriate to people who have already chosen their occupational field of choice. The typical scales utilized in assessing career self efficacy are generalized across occupations and not relevant to someone who was already employed in a profession. The purpose of the present study was to develop a new scale, Medical Tasks Self-Efficacy (MTSE), to measure the self-efficacy beliefs of a specific employed population toward their occupational tasks. The analysis of the MTSE was conducted using respondents (N=307) of medical professionals, specifically physicians and nurses. The reliability and validity of the scale was analyzed through four phases of scale development.Phase one consisted of item development which included the generation of an item pool from special occupational books and interviews with medical professionals (N=8). Additional experts (N=3) in scale construction were also consulted during this phase. Thirty-two items were developed originally and then, through consultation, reduced to 27 items. Phase two involved a pilot study with respondents from various medical settings in the midwest (N=34). The pilot study helped to provide preliminary reliability information and to modify the necessary demographic information. One more item was dropped from the scale during this phase and thus the revised MT SE consisted of 26 items.Phase three consisted of a major investigation (N=209) to test the initial factor structure of the MTSE and to examine the internal consistency. Using a principal components extraction, the MTSE yielded a two factor solution which seemed to best fit the data both in terms of statistical configuration and theoretical soundness. Factor One constituted tasks involving “medical content competencies" and held an alpha coefficient of .93. Factor Two constituted tasks involving "interpersonal process competencies" and held an alpha coefficient of .87.The fourth and final phase (N=64) was conducted to test the convergent and discriminant validity of the scale and to examine the test-retest reliability. Convergent and discriminant validity were tested using the Task Specific Occupational Self-Efficacy Scale (TSOSS) and the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI). The MTSE was hypothesized to demonstrate convergent validity with the TSOSS. Both factors of the MTSE were significantly correlated with the overall TSOSS, and additionally correlated with the four factors of the TSOSS, with one exception. Only Factor Two ("interpersonal process competencies") of the MTSE did not correlate significantly with factor four of the TSOSS. The BDI was used to test discriminant validity. The BDI did not correlate significantly with either of the factors of the MT SE. Thus, the MTSE demonstrated both convergent and discriminant validity with the instruments utilized in this study. The two-week test-retest correlation was .80, additionally demonstrating a stable reliability estimate in the MT SE. Limitations and implications for future research of the MT SE were provided.