Development of and Gathering Validity Evidence for a Theoretical Test in Contrast-Enhanced Ultrasound
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionUltrasound in Medicine and Biology. 2022, 48 (2), 248-256. 10.1016/j.ultrasmedbio.2021.10.016
Contrast-enhanced ultrasound (CEUS) is an imaging modality applied in a broad field of medical specialties for diagnostic uses, guidance during biopsy procedures and ablation therapies and sonoporation therapy. Appropriate training and assessment of theoretical and practical competencies are recommended before practicing CEUS, but no validated assessment tools exist. This study was aimed at developing a theoretical multiple-choice question-based test for core CEUS competencies and gathering validity evidence for the test. An expert team developed the test via a Delphi process. The test was administered to medical doctors with varying CEUS experience, and the results were used to evaluate test items, internal-consistency reliability, ability to distinguish between different proficiency levels and to establish a pass/fail score. Validity evidence was gathered according to Messick's framework. The final test with 47 test items could distinguish between operators with and without CEUS experience with acceptable reliability. The pass/fail score led to considerable risk of false positives and negatives. The test may be used as an entry test before learning practical CEUS competencies but is not recommended for certification purposes because of the risk of false positives and negatives.