Developing Validity Evidence for the Written Pediatric History and Physical Exam Evaluation Rubric

Marta A. King, Carrie A. Phillipi, Paula M. Buchanan, Linda O. Lewin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Objective The written history and physical examination (H&P) is an underutilized source of medical trainee assessment. The authors describe development and validity evidence for the Pediatric History and Physical Exam Evaluation (P-HAPEE) rubric: a novel tool for evaluating written H&Ps. Methods Using an iterative process, the authors drafted, revised, and implemented the 10-item rubric at 3 academic institutions in 2014. Eighteen attending physicians and 5 senior residents each scored 10 third-year medical student H&Ps. Inter-rater reliability (IRR) was determined using intraclass correlation coefficients. Cronbach α was used to report consistency and Spearman rank-order correlations to determine relationships between rubric items. Raters provided a global assessment, recorded time to review and score each H&P, and completed a rubric utility survey. Results Overall intraclass correlation was 0.85, indicating adequate IRR. Global assessment IRR was 0.89. IRR for low- and high-quality H&Ps was significantly greater than for medium-quality ones but did not differ on the basis of rater category (attending physician vs. senior resident), note format (electronic health record vs nonelectronic), or student diagnostic accuracy. Cronbach α was 0.93. The highest correlation between an individual item and total score was for assessments was 0.84; the highest interitem correlation was between assessment and differential diagnosis (0.78). Mean time to review and score an H&P was 16.3 minutes; residents took significantly longer than attending physicians. All raters described rubric utility as “good” or “very good” and endorsed continued use. Conclusions The P-HAPEE rubric offers a novel, practical, reliable, and valid method for supervising physicians to assess pediatric written H&Ps.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)68-73
Number of pages6
JournalAcademic Pediatrics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017


  • assessment
  • clinical documentation
  • diagnostic reasoning
  • history
  • medical student
  • physical examination
  • undergraduate medical education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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