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III. Methods
Subjects

The expansion in residency sites since the institution of the new NCOPE residency regulations in 1993 has brought many new site directors into the supervision arena. To be an NCOPE accredited facility, each site and director must apply for accreditation and adhere to imposed guidelines outlined in the “NCOPE Accreditation Manual for Becoming an Accredited Residency”.

This study will survey all 197 N.C.O.P.E. accredited residency directors.
Experimental design
The desire to gather information about Residency site Managers, NCOPE, residents, and educational sites, determined the need to conduct a descriptive study. Since required residencies are a new phenomenon, it presents a valuable opportunity to study and define how these imposed changes have been interpreted and implemented. This study should provide descriptive data to enable future researchers to identify relevant variables and research questions. Therefore, for the purpose of this study, there are no independent and dependant variables and the study is without any obvious confounding variables or methods of control. We seek merely to define and to describe the attitudes and opinions of residency site directors.
Operational definitions
Anastasi (1988) defines attitude as “ a tendency to react favorably or unfavorably toward a designated class of stimuli” and also states that attitudes cannot be directly observed, but must be inferred from overt behavior. Opinion is sometimes used interchangeably with attitude and for the purpose of this study, it is important to distinguish the difference between attitude surveys and opinion surveys. Anastasi (1988) states that opinion surveys deal with replies to questions, which may not be related, and the answers to these questions are kept separate rather than being combined into a total a score. An attitude scale typically yields a total score indicating the direction and intensity of the individual’s attitude towards a topic.

1. This study defines a respondent/subject’s opinion to a survey topic as the written reply to that corresponding survey question.
2. This study defines a respondent/subject’s attitude to a survey topic as the score on the attitude portion of the survey tool.
Instrumentation / Equipment
The survey instrument is designed to measure both the opinions and attitudes of the RSDs, using open-ended and closed-ended type questions. A Likert-type scale is used for the attitude detection portion of the survey. The survey was answered anonymously, and the results were tallied upon completion and receipt of the survey forms. These results were used to assess the RSDs’ feelings aroused by the residency program and also to identify areas of concern that require further investigation an improvement.

The instrument consisted of 26 questions, of which 21 are closed-ended. Twelve of the questions used a 5 point Likert response, with 5= “Complete detail”, 4= “Moderate detail”, 3= “Some detail”, 2= “Brief overview”, and 1= “Not important”. Two of the questions will use a 5 point Likert response, with 5= “Excellent”, 4= “Good”, 3= “Moderate”, 2= “Some”, and 1= “None”. One question used a 5 point Likert scale of 1 through 5, with 1= “Disagree” and 5= “Agree”. The remaining questions are “yes” and “no”, and sentence completion.

Additional demographic questions allow respondent/subjects to be categorized and response variables sorted and analyzed according to age, gender, education level, clinical experience, and number of years providing supervision for residents in a residency program.

A confidentiality statement will not accompany the survey. Returning the survey assumes the respondents agree to an “informed consent to be studied”. Subject identifiers have been removed from the data by the researcher in order to preserve confidentiality.

Volunteer faculty of UT Southwestern Medical Center, to provide external validity will examine the survey tool. Questions will be examined for content and application to study objectives.

Procedures
1. Names and addresses of the 232 N.C.O.P.E. accredited residency site directors, of the 197 different residency sites, were obtained from Robin Seabrook, Executive Director of N.C.O.P.E.
2. Questionnaire packets were mailed to the 232 residency site directors.
3. Data was received, organized by question and stored in a data based using Excel.
4. Data was analyzed
Data Analysis
Microsoft Excel software was used for collecting, sorting, and graphing the descriptive data. Since the data was primarily descriptive in nature, no statistical analyses will be made. Instead, the data was reported in terms of the number of respondents, percentage, and mode. Some direct responses were summarized and categorized making it possible to report with some order


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