Determining the quality of narrative evaluations to assess medical student neurology clerkship performance remains a challenge. This study sought to develop a tool to comprehensively and systematically assess quality of student narrative evaluations.
The Narrative Evaluation Quality Instrument (NEQI) was created to assess several components within clerkship narrative evaluations: performance domains, specificity, and usefulness to learner. In this retrospective study, 5 investigators scored 123 narrative evaluations using the NEQI. Inter-rater reliability was estimated by calculating interclass correlation coefficients (ICC) across 615 NEQI scores.
The average overall NEQI score was 6.4 (SD 2.9), with mean component arm scores of 2.6 for performance domains (SD 0.9), 1.8 for specificity (SD 1.1), and 2.0 for usefulness (SD 1.4). Each component arm exhibited moderate reliability: performance domains ICC 0.65 (95% confidence interval [CI] 0.58–0.72), specificity ICC 0.69 (95% CI 0.61–0.77), and usefulness ICC 0.73 (95% CI 0.66–0.80). Overall NEQI score exhibited good reliability (0.81; 95% CI 0.77–0.86).
The NEQI is a novel, reliable tool to comprehensively assess the quality of narrative evaluation of neurology clerks and will enhance the study of interventions seeking to improve clerkship evaluation.