Validity and reliability of the Health Professionals’ Inventory of Learning Styles (H-PILS) in a rural African context


  • Maria A Paiva Sidra Medical And Research Center, Doha
  • Kyle John Wilby Qatar University, Doha


Learning Styles, Africa, Pharmacy, Teaching, Continuing Education


Background: Knowledge and skills are obtained via a range of methods and Western educational institutions are attempting to diversify instructional techniques in order to satisfy the diverse needs of learners. The Health Professionals’ Inventory of Learning Styles (H-PILS) is an instrument used to assess the learning styles of health professionals and has been validated in multiple North American contexts.

Aims: To assess the validity and reliability of the H-PILS instrument in a rural African context and characterise learning styles for pharmacy staff working at Mampong Government Hospital in Ghana.

Methods: Staff members were recruited to complete the H-PILS. Face and construct validity were assessed through investigator observations. Cronbach’s alpha was used to assess reliability. Learning styles were summarised descriptively

Results: Nine staff members participated. Lack of participant understanding and misinterpretation of instrument statements impacted validity. Cronbach’s alpha was -2.641. One participant was deemed an accommodator, three assimilators, four convergers, and one a diverger.

Conclusions: The learning styles of health providers in rural Ghana could not be accurately characterised, as the H-PILS instrument was not valid or reliable in this context. More extensive evaluation is warranted to determine refinements needed to overcome these findings. Further research is needed to optimise learning styles and continuing education in this setting. 

Author Biographies

Maria A Paiva, Sidra Medical And Research Center, Doha

Clinical Pharmacist

Kyle John Wilby, Qatar University, Doha

Assistant Professor, Clinical Pharmacy and Practice, College of Pharmacy


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Research Article