Validation of a tool to measure drug knowledge: Evaluating bioterrorism preparedness activities

Gregory A Low, University of Rhode Island


Background. Pharmaceutical supplies sufficient to protect millions of people are positioned to respond to a bioterrorist attack in the United States of America, but the educational resources, programs, material, and health professional staffing, to utilize those supplies optimally may be underdeveloped. Professionals and municipalities require objective tools to measure their ability to communicate necessary drug information to adhere to emergency prophylactic regimens. ^ Objective. This research project created a survey tool and laid the foundation to establish the tool's validity to measure patient drug knowledge in bioterrorism preparedness activities that involve the dispensing of prophylactic medications. ^ Methods. Test construction was based upon establishing content validity, and ensuring all relevant knowledge domains are addressed through literature review and professional consultation. Further evidence for understanding of the tool was accumulated through the testing of several theories, or constructs regarding known groups and drug knowledge. The reliably of the measure was assessed by the reliability coefficient, by the split-half reliability method, and by Cronbach's alpha using the internal consistency method. ^ Results. The study identified six categories of drug knowledge that enable appropriate patient behavior, around which the survey was constructed. Construct validity trials confirmed the score correct's correlation with progress through professional pharmacy curriculum in an academic setting, and the highest grade level completed by participants in a community setting. The supplementation of oral information with written information was found to correlate with a reduction in incorrect scores on the instrument in an experimentally controlled academic setting. The reliability estimates from community trial produced a Cronbach's alpha of 0.849 for score correct and a Cronbach's alpha of 0.631 for score incorrect. ^ Discussion. The evidence compiled from this investigation allows confidence that the tool can be appropriately used to measure patient level drug knowledge for bioterrorism preparedness activities. Further testing in diverse populations will complement the findings of this tool, and begin to allow for normalized comparisons. The evaluation of content validity, construct validity and reliability in this investigation support the adequacy of this tool for making inferences, and provide support for the tool's continued use for this purpose. ^

Subject Area

Health Sciences, Pharmacy|Health Sciences, Public Health

Recommended Citation

Gregory A Low, "Validation of a tool to measure drug knowledge: Evaluating bioterrorism preparedness activities" (2005). Dissertations and Master's Theses (Campus Access). Paper AAI3206254.