Evaluation of missing data in an assessment of professional behaviors

UMMS Affiliation

Meyers Primary Care Institute

Publication Date


Document Type



*Behavior; Clinical Competence; Data Collection; *Education, Medical; Humans; Observer Variation; Pilot Projects; Program Evaluation; *Questionnaires; Retrospective Studies; *Students, Medical


Health Services Research | Primary Care


BACKGROUND: The National Board of Medical Examiners is currently developing the Assessment of Professional Behaviors, a multisource feedback (MSF) tool intended for formative use with medical students and residents. This study investigated whether missing responses on this tool can be considered random; evidence that missing values are not random would suggest response bias, a significant threat to score validity.

METHOD: Correlational analyses of pilot data (N = 2,149) investigated whether missing values were systematically related to global evaluations of observees.

RESULTS: The percentage of missing items was correlated with global evaluations of observees; observers answered more items for preferred observees compared with nonpreferred observees.

CONCLUSIONS: Missing responses on this MSF tool seem to be nonrandom and are instead systematically related to global perceptions of observees. Further research is needed to determine whether modifications to the items, the instructions, or other components of the assessment process can reduce this effect.


Acad Med. 2007 Oct;82(10 Suppl):S44-7. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Academic medicine : journal of the Association of American Medical Colleges

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID