Original Publication
Open Access

Critical Synthesis Package: Faculty Observer Rating Scale (FORS)

Published: August 1, 2014 | 10.15766/mep_2374-8265.9853

Included in this publication:

  • Critical Analysis of the Faculty Observer Rating Scale.pdf
  • Faculty Observer Scale & Rating Guide.doc

To view all publication components, extract (i.e., unzip) them from the downloaded .zip file.


Editor's Note: This publication predates our implementation of the Educational Summary Report in 2016 and thus displays a different format than newer publications.

Abstract

This Critical Synthesis Package contains: (1) a Critical Analysis of the psychometric properties and application to health sciences education for the Faculty Observer Rating Scale (FORS), and (2) a copy of the instrument and scoring guide developed by Desiree Lie, MD, MSEd.

A focus on cultural competency inclusion in medical education has resulted in an identified need for training medical professionals in interpreter-mediated communications skills. These skills have been identified as a distinct learning entity under the AAMC Tool for Assessing Cultural Competency Training. A review of medical literature has shown the existence of best communication practices when medical interpreters are used. However, there is a paucity of measures for assessing interpreter mediated communication skills. The FORS was developed to assess medical students’ interpreter-mediated communication skills. It is a behaviorally anchored rating scale based on eleven observable behaviors that are rated via a Likert Scale on a scale of 1 (poor) to 5 (outstanding). The creators of FORS have offered robust data in supports of its validity, specifically with respect to internal consistency and inter-rater agreement. FORS has shown good reliability in two separate clinical case contexts as well as four different languages. However, the major limitation of this instrument is that the FORS scale does not correlate at all with two of the three scales that reportedly measure the same construct. Given this there are some concerns regarding FORS construct validity. Further, it is unclear whether the FORS can be administered for live encounters as it was validated in videotaped encounters only.


Educational Objectives

  1. To describe the purpose and basic properties of the Faculty Observer Rating Scale (FORS), including number of items and scales, and psychometric properties;
  2. To describe the application of the FORS to the field of health sciences education;
  3. To evaluate the relative strengths and weaknesses of the FORS; and
  4. To provide the FORS and supplemental materials to aid in its administration.

Author Information

  • Nur-Ain Nadir, MD: State University of New York Downstate Medical Center College of Medicine

Disclosures
None to report.

Funding/Support
None to report.


References

  1. Marzan MA, Fornari A, Santos MT, Guilbe R, Silberman S, Habousha RG, Lee-Rey E. Using the tool for assessing cultural competency training (TACCT) to inventory a medical school's curriculum: Case study. Journal of Communication in Healthcare. 2009 11/01;2(4):359. http://dx.doi.org/10.1179/cih.2009.2.4.359
  2. Makoul G. Essential elements of communication in medical encounters: The kalamazoo consensus statement. Acad Med. 2001 04/01;76(4):390. http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/00001888-200104000-00021
  3. Lie D, Boker J, Bereknyei S, Ahearn S, Fesko C, Lenahan P. Validating measures of third year medical students’ use of interpreters by standardized patients and faculty observers. Journal of General Internal Medicine. 2007 11/01;22:336. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11606-007-0349-3
  4. Lie, D., Bereknyei, S., Braddock, C. H. I.,II, Encinas, J., Ahearn, S., & Boker, J. R. (2009). Assessing medical students’ skills in working with interpreters during patient encounters: A validation study of the interpreter scale. Academic Medicine, 84(5), 643. http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/ACM.0b013e31819faec8
  5. Bereknyei S, Nevins A, Schillinger E, Garcia RD, Elizabeth Stuart A, 3rd BC. Beyond knowledge, toward linguistic competency: An experiential curriculum. Journal Of General Internal Medicine. 2010 05/01;25 Suppl 2:S155. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11606-010-1271-7
  6. Cha-Chi Fung, Lagha RR, Henderson P, Gomez AG. Working with interpreters: How student behavior affects quality of patient interaction when using interpreters. Medical Education Online. 2010 01/01;15(1):1. http://dx.doi.org/10.3402/meo.v15i0.5151
  7. Wiener ES, Rivera MI. Bridging language barriers: How to work with an interpreter. Clinical Pediatric Emergency Medicine. 2004 6;5(2):93-101. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cpem.2004.01.007


Citation

Nadir N. Critical synthesis package: faculty observer rating scale (FORS). MedEdPORTAL. 2014;10:9853. https://doi.org/10.15766/mep_2374-8265.9853