Toward the development of advocacy training curricula for pediatric residents: a national delphi study

Clyde J Wright, Murray L Katcher, Steven D Blatt, David M Keller, Marlon P Mundt, Ann S Botash, Craig L Gjerde
Ambulatory Pediatrics: the Official Journal of the Ambulatory Pediatric Association 2005, 5 (3): 165-71

BACKGROUND: Training in child advocacy is now required in pediatric residency program curricula. No national consensus exists regarding the content of such advocacy training.

OBJECTIVE: To identify an operational definition of advocacy, as well as knowledge, skills, and attitude objectives for advocacy training in pediatric residency programs.

METHODS: Professionals experienced in pediatric advocacy and training (n = 53) were invited to participate in a sequence of surveys to define the content of a pediatric residency advocacy curriculum that would result in acquisition of appropriate knowledge, skills, and attitudes related to advocacy for children. Three rounds of surveys were distributed, collected, and analyzed using a modified Delphi technique, in which the results from an antecedent survey were used to refine responses in a subsequent survey.

RESULTS: Participants (n = 36), comprising a group of experienced leaders with diverse training and experience in child advocacy and resident education, created a consensus definition for advocacy. They initially identified 179 possible objectives for advocacy curricula. Through the iterative process of the Delphi technique, 32 of those objectives were identified as necessary for inclusion in a child advocacy curriculum for pediatric residents.

CONCLUSIONS: Using a modified Delphi technique, a group of experienced leaders in pediatric advocacy were able to reach consensus on an operational definition of child advocacy and a set of objectives for a resident advocacy curriculum. Programs may use these findings to assist in developing an advocacy curriculum based on their own faculty assets and community resources.

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