1997 OPEN FORUM Abstracts
EVALUATION OF THE HEALTH OCCUPATIONS APTITUDE EXAMINATION (HOAE) FOR SCREENING RESPIRATORY CARE EDUCATION PROGRAM APPLICANTS.
Jeff Standridge, MEd, RRT, Kathy Briggs, MEd, RRT, Kathleen M. Mugan, MT (ASCP)SH., University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock Arkansas.
INTRODUCTION: In our Respiratory Care Program, attrition rates vary, but periodically approach undesirable levels. To reduce attrition and more accurately predict success, a revision of the current selection procedures was necessary. We evaluated as one possible component of our admissions procedure, the Health Occupations Aptitude Examination (HOAE), an instrument, specifically for use by allied health education programs in admission, placement, and guidance procedures, that contains 5 separate tests. Scores are given for Academic Aptitude (A.A.), Spelling (Sp.), Reading Comprehension (R.C.), Information in the Natural Sciences (N.S.), and Vocational Adjustment Index (V.A.I.). EVALUATION METHOD: We reviewed the instrument's technical manual for norms, reliability-validity studies, and general test-development procedures. We then conducted a pilot study using a convenience sample of 49 respiratory care students from 3 different program years. To prevent respiratory care instruction from biasing the examination results, the HOAE was administered immediately upon admission to the Program, before any professional education commenced. Each test score from the HOAE was then correlated with professional respiratory care program grade point average (PrGPA) using the Pearson Product Moment correlation coefficient of 0.40 as a threshold and an [alpha] level of 0.05. Results: Positive relationships were found between PrGPA and 3 of the 5 instrument tests. Statistically significant relationships were found between the A.A. Score (r = 0.40, p < 0.05), N.S. Score (r = 0.40, p < 0.05), and R.C. Score (r = 0.31, p < 0.05). Conclusions: The potential of the HOAE for strengthening our Program's selection process is not clear, although the V.A.I. provides useful information about specific behaviors and is useful in counseling. We will continue to administer the HOAE in order to determine its ultimate appropriateness as an admissions process component.