Background: The relationship between medical students' well-being, motivation, and their conceptions of learning and knowledge has not been previously explored. Aims: This study aimed to validate a research instrument intending to measure medical students' (n = 280) (1) experiences of stress, anxiety and disinterest, (2) motivational (thinking) strategies, (3) conceptions of learning and knowledge (epistemologies), and (4) approaches to learning. Methods: We developed an instrument, MED NORD, which is a composition of scales measuring different theoretical constructs that previously have shown good predictive value, validity and reliability. A principal component analysis with Varimax-rotation was performed in order to see how the scales related to each other. Results: The internal consistency reliability was found to be satisfactory or good for each scale. The results showed five factors: Dysfunctional Orientation, Collaborative Knowledge Building Orientation, Cookbook Orientation, Social Orientation, and Individual Abilities Orientation. These study orientations were related to how medical students perceived their learning environment. Conclusions: The new tool showed consistency and validity and was judged appropriate for future use in measuring medical students' well-being and study orientations.
2008. Vol. 30, no 1, 72-79 p.