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Insider’s Guide to Developing a Psychometric Tool (MeDiC) for Cancer Multidisciplinary Teams Using a Multiphase Mixed-Methods Approach

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By: Published: 2020 | Product: SAGE Research Methods Cases Part 2
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Abstract

Psychometric properties refer to validity (accuracy) and reliability (consistency) of a tool and its constructs. The case study presented here depicts psychometric tool development on a topic that lacks prior research, that is, the streamlining of cancer multidisciplinary teams’ workload. Yet, there is a need for developing such a tool in line with the recent clinical recommendations and current health economic climate.

Hence, an extensive multiphase mixed-methods approach was employed, taking place over a period of 29 months within the National Health Services in the United Kingdom. The research methods ranged from ethnographic interviews and observations, to national surveys, expert consensus, observations from video-recorded data, and data reviews by experts in the field. Such approach ensured robustness achieving good reliability and validity, while identifying the more problematic items that would benefit from further testing, and developing a scoring system with four complexity levels (low, moderate, high, and very high). It also allowed the stakeholders’ input at various stages of the tool development to be integrated, ensuring relevance and impact, while facilitating progress through thoughtful consideration.

However, challenges with such complex methodological designs exist, such as, for instance, the time needed for ethics approval, recruitment of health care professionals, and data triangulation, as well as video-based methods and more practical elements such as communication if working within a wider research team. Successful research strategies or practical lessons learned concern careful project planning and risk anticipation, effective record keeping, good communication, regular data and progress reviews with research team, and extensive stakeholder engagement.

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