Comparison of four methods for assessing the importance of attitudinal beliefs: An international Delphi study in intensive care settings

Francis, J., Duncan, E. M., Prior, M. E., MacLennan, G., Marshall, A. P., Wells, E. C., Todd, L., Rose, L., Campbell, M. K., Webster, F., Eccles, M. P., Bellingan, G., Sepplet, I. M., Grimshaw, J. M. & Cuthbertson, B. H. (2014). Comparison of four methods for assessing the importance of attitudinal beliefs: An international Delphi study in intensive care settings. British Journal of Health Psychology, 19(2), doi: 10.1111/bjhp.12066

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Abstract

Objectives: Behaviour change interventions often target ‘important’ beliefs. The literature proposes four methods for assessing importance of attitudinal beliefs: elicitation frequency, importance ratings, and strength of prediction (bivariate and multivariate). We tested congruence between these methods in a Delphi study about selective decontamination of the digestive tract (SDD). SDD improves infection rates among critically ill patients, yet uptake in intensive care units is low internationally.

Methods: A Delphi study involved three iterations (‘rounds’). Participants were 105 intensive care clinicians in the United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia/New Zealand. In Round 1, semi‐structured interviews were conducted to elicit beliefs about delivering SDD. In Rounds 2 and 3, participants completed questionnaires, rating agreement and importance for each belief‐statement (9‐point Likert scales). Belief importance was assessed using elicitation frequency, mean importance ratings, and prediction of global attitude (Pearson's correlations; beta‐weights). Correlations between indices were computed.

Results: Participants generated 14 attitudinal beliefs. Indices had adequate variation (frequencies: 4–94, mean importance ratings: 4.93–8.00, Pearson's correlations: ±0.09 to ±0.54, beta‐weights: ±0.01 to ±0.30). SDD increases antibiotic resistance was the most important belief according to three methods and was ranked second by beta‐weights (behind Overall, SDD benefits patients to whom it is delivered). Spearman's correlations were significant for importance ratings with frequencies and correlations. However, other indices were unrelated. The top four beliefs differed according to the measure used.

Conclusions: Results provided evidence of congruence across three methods for assessing belief importance. Beta‐weights were unrelated to other indices, suggesting that they may not be appropriate as the sole method.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This is the accepted version of the following article: Francis, J. J., Duncan, E. M., Prior, M. E., MacLennan, G., Marshall, A. P., Wells, E. C., Todd, L., Rose, L., Campbell, M. K., Webster, F., Eccles, M. P., Bellingan, G., Seppelt, I. M., Grimshaw, J. M., Cuthbertson, B. H. and for the SuDDICU study groups (2014), Comparison of four methods for assessing the importance of attitudinal beliefs: An international Delphi study in intensive care settings. British Journal of Health Psychology, 19: 274–291, which has been published in final form at http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bjhp.12066
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine
Divisions: School of Health Sciences > Healthcare Research Unit
URI: http://openaccess.city.ac.uk/id/eprint/3292

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