Journal of Medical Education (Jul 2016)

Designing a Tool to Assess Medical Students’ Knowledge and Attitudes of Confidentiality and Disclosure of Patient Information

  • Leila Hosseini-Qavam-Abad,
  • Fariba Asghari,
  • Ali Bandehagh,
  • Shoaleh Bigdeli,
  • Sadigheh Najafpour

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 15, no. 2


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Background and purpose: Respecting confidentiality of documents and medical information about individuals, as one of the most important issues in medicine, guarantees patients' trust in the health system. Therefore, this study is an attemp to design a valid and reliable tool to assess knowledge and attitudes of medical students about the principles of confidentiality and disclosure of patient information.Methods: To design the questionnaire, a comprehensive review of literature was conducted. Since to the best of our knowledge, there was no valid and reliable tool, a 34-questions questionnaire consisting of two sections of knowledge and attitude was designed. Then, face and content validity of the questionnaire was investigated by expert opinion. Finally, content validity index (CVI), content validity ratio (CVR) and item usability index (IUI) were calculated, and the reliability of the instrument was measured by Cronbach’s Alpha. Then, the final questionnaire was assessed by faculty members of ethics and medical education (n=10) for simplicity, relevance, and clarity of the questions. Lastly, the questionnaire was distributed among medical interns (n=40)and its reliability was examined. Afterwards, the questionnaire was distributed among 160 medical interns, and the reliability and validity of its structure was evaluated.Results: The designed questionnaire CVI and CVR were 0.80 and 0.81 for knowledge and 0.78 and 0.83 for attitude sections. All the questions were confirmed as valid and reliable. The validity of the questionnaire for knowledge and attitude sections were 0.79 and 0.82, respectively.Conclusions: Validity and reliability of all the designed questions (17 in each section) were confirmed. Keywords: confidentiality, disclosure of patients’ information, validity, reliability, questionnaire