Evaluating Allied Health Clinical Placement Performance: Protocol for a Modified Delphi Study

Simmons, Lisa, Barker, Ruth, and Barnett, Fiona (2023) Evaluating Allied Health Clinical Placement Performance: Protocol for a Modified Delphi Study. JMIR Research Protocols, 12. e44020.

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Background: University-affiliated student-led health care services have emerged in response to the challenges faced by universities in securing quality clinical placements for health care students. Evidence of the health care benefits and challenges of student-led health care services is growing, while evidence of clinical placement performance remains variable and not generalizable. Though there have been previous attempts to develop a framework for evaluation of clinical placement performance, concerns have been raised about the applicability of these frameworks across the various placement settings. Additionally, the perspectives of all key stakeholders on the critical areas of clinical placement performance have yet to be considered.

Objective: This study’s objective is to gather information on areas of measurement related to student learning outcomes, experience of placement, and costs of placement and then develop consensus on which of those areas need to be included in a framework for evaluation of clinical placement performance within the context of student-led health care services. The aim of this paper is to outline a protocol for a modified Delphi study designed to gain consensus on what is important to measure when evaluating an allied health clinical placement.

Methods: We will recruit up to 30 experts to a heterogeneous expert panel in a modified Delphi study. Experts will consist of those with firsthand experience either coordinating, supervising, or undertaking clinical placement. Purposive sampling will be used to ensure maximum variation in expert panel member characteristics. Experts’ opinions will be sought on measuring student learning outcomes, student experience, and cost of clinical placement, and other areas of clinical placement performance that are considered important. Three rounds will be conducted to establish consensus on what is important to measure when evaluating clinical placement. Each round is anticipated to yield both quantitative data (eg, percentage of agreement) and qualitative data (eg, free-text responses). In each round, quantitative data will be analyzed descriptively and used to determine consensus, which will be defined as ≥70% agreement. Qualitative responses will be analyzed thematically and used to inform the subsequent round. Findings of each round will be presented, both consensus data and qualitative responses in each subsequent round, to inform expert panel members and to elicit further rankings on areas of measurement yet to achieve consensus.

Results: Data analysis is currently underway, with a planned publication in 2024.

Conclusions: The modified Delphi approach, supported by existing research and its ability to gain consensus through multiround expert engagement, provides an appropriate methodology to inform the development of a framework for the evaluation of clinical placement performance in allied health service.

Item ID: 79440
Item Type: Article (Scholarly Work)
ISSN: 1929-0748
Copyright Information: ©Lisa Simmons, Ruth Barker, Fiona Barnett. Originally published in JMIR Research Protocols (https://www.researchprotocols.org), 31.08.2023. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work, first published in JMIR Research Protocols, is properly cited. The complete bibliographic information, a link to the original publication on https://www.researchprotocols.org, as well as this copyright and license information must be included.
Date Deposited: 14 Sep 2023 05:40
FoR Codes: 42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4201 Allied health and rehabilitation science > 420199 Allied health and rehabilitation science not elsewhere classified @ 50%
39 EDUCATION > 3901 Curriculum and pedagogy > 390114 Vocational education and training curriculum and pedagogy @ 25%
42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4203 Health services and systems > 420399 Health services and systems not elsewhere classified @ 25%
SEO Codes: 20 HEALTH > 2002 Evaluation of health and support services > 200203 Health education and promotion @ 50%
20 HEALTH > 2003 Provision of health and support services > 200301 Allied health therapies (excl. mental health services) @ 50%
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