Validity evidence for a novel instrument assessing medical student attitudes toward instruction in implicit bias recognition and management

Cristina M. Gonzalez, Joseph H. Grochowalski, Ramya J. Garba, Shacelles Bonner, Paul R. Marantz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Background: Implicit bias instruction is becoming more prevalent in health professions education, with calls for skills-based curricula moving from awareness and recognition to management of implicit bias. Evidence suggests that health professionals and students learning about implicit bias (“learners”) have varying attitudes about instruction in implicit bias, including the concept of implicit bias itself. Assessing learner attitudes could inform curriculum development and enable instructional designs that optimize learner engagement. To date, there are no instruments with evidence for construct validity that assess learner attitudes about implicit bias instruction and its relevance to clinical care. Methods: The authors developed a novel instrument, the Attitude Towards Implicit Bias Instrument (ATIBI) and gathered evidence for three types of construct validity- content, internal consistency, and relationship to other variables. Results: Authors utilized a modified Delphi technique with an interprofessional team of experts, as well as cognitive interviews with medical students leading to item refinement to improve content validity. Seven cohorts of medical students, N = 1072 completed the ATIBI. Psychometric analysis demonstrated high internal consistency (α = 0.90). Exploratory factor analysis resulted in five factors. Analysis of a subset of 100 medical students demonstrated a moderate correlation with similar instruments, the Integrative Medicine Attitude Questionnaire (r = 0.63, 95% CI: [0.59, 0.66]) and the Internal Motivation to Respond Without Prejudice Scale (r = 0.36, 95% CI: [0.32, 0.40]), providing evidence for convergent validity. Scores on our instrument had low correlation to the External Motivation to Respond Without Prejudice Scale (r = 0.15, 95% CI: [0.09, 0.19]) and the Groningen Reflection Ability Scale (r = 0.12, 95% CI: [0.06, 0.17]) providing evidence for discriminant validity. Analysis resulted in eighteen items in the final instrument; it is easy to administer, both on paper form and online. Conclusion: The Attitudes Toward Implicit Bias Instrument is a novel instrument that produces reliable and valid scores and may be used to measure medical student attitudes related to implicit bias recognition and management, including attitudes toward acceptance of bias in oneself, implicit bias instruction, and its relevance to clinical care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number205
JournalBMC Medical Education
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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