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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 31  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 17-24

Assessing the hidden curriculum for the care of patients with limited english proficiency: An instrument development

1 Division of General Internal Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital; Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
2 Department of Health Professions Education, MGH Institute for Health Professions, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
3 Department of Medicine, Mount Sinai Hospital, New York, USA
4 Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital; Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Correspondence Address:
Alexander R Green
Massachusetts General Hospital, Division of General Internal Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts 02114
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1357-6283.239042

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Background: Patients with limited English proficiency (LEP) are a growing population in the United States at risk for disparities in quality and safety of care. Medical student competency to care for patients with LEP is impacted by a hidden curriculum (HC) that undermines the learning experience; yet to date, there is no way to measure it. Thus, we designed an instrument to assess this HC. Methods: Based on findings from previous qualitative work and input from medical students and experts in LEP and psychometrics, we developed a 23-item survey with four domains. We e-mailed this to 3rd and 4th year students from two medical schools in the US. We conducted principal axis factoring to determine the instrument's construct validity. Only items with a factor loading ≥0.50 were retained. Results: We obtained 111 complete responses. Twenty-two of the 23 original items were retained. Four factors/components emerged, which did not support the original proposed domains. Three factors loaded on a mix of role modeling, and learning environment, structural, and organizational variables, while the fourth factor retained two role modeling items. Based on the factor extraction solution, we restructured the instrument into three domains: role modeling, demonstration of effective systems, and consequences of structural barriers for patients with LEP (Cronbach's alpha: 0.81–0.95, total variance accounted for 53.7%). Discussion: The results led us to reassess the domain structure to create an instrument representing students' perceptions and context. Our instrument, the LEP-HC, will allow medical educators to investigate a specific and important HC and improve teaching about care of patients with LEP.

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