Description of the development process of an international measurement tool for determining the training needs of addictionologists

Monday 29 April 2024, 4:30 pm
PhD student
W.J.L. Pinxten drs.
prof. dr. C.A.J. de Jong, prof. dr. G.J.M. Hutschemaekers

The development of the Indonesian Short Course on Addiction Medicine (ISCAN) was customised on the basis of the self-assessed training needs of addictionologists. To this end, we developed a self-assessment tool to measure training needs, gaps and progress in addiction competences: the Addiction Medicine Training Needs Assessment Scale (AM-TNA). The reliability and validity of this scale has been studied in several countries over the past decade, based on five research studies. The first study showed that the AM-TNA scale could be used to adequately guide the ISCAN curriculum design process. The second study explored the position of the AM-TNA scale in the shifting science of addiction. In the third study, data from four countries were pooled to produce a larger sample. This study credibly demonstrated the validity and reliability of the AM-TNA. The fourth study showed that the AM-TNA can also be used successfully in a relatively small-scale training situation. The last study examined the relationship between physicians’ stigmatising attitudes towards people with addiction and observed training needs, confirming that physicians' attitudes predict their knowledge and skills training in the field of addiction: a call for providing medical students with integral training in knowledge, skills, and attitudes. 

Lucas Pinxten, social psychologist, tropical doctor and public health specialist, worked as associate professor in Public Health and Medical Leadership for the Radboud University study programme in Addiction Medicine until 2023. He has extensive work experience in Africa and Asia, where he worked as a doctor, hospital director, and consultant and manager on medical development projects. He is the author of 53 publications in Dutch and English. His recent research focuses on curriculum development, more specifically on improving education and training in addiction medicine. His PhD thesis describes the origin and validation process of the addiction medicine training needs assessment scale (AM-TNA) used to measure competency differences and training needs in addictionologists. The AM-TNA scale formed the foundation and also the evaluation tool for the Indonesian study programme in addiction medicine. Lucas Pinxten is a member of the Education Committee of the International Society of Addiction Medicine (ISAM), which is using the AM-TNA scale as an international benchmark in 44 countries since last year.