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Adapting Cognitive Interviewing for Nursing Research


  • Data used in this article were collected through studies partially funded by NINR grant F32NR010644-01, Sigma Theta Tau Beta Psi Chapter Research Award, and Sigma Theta Tau International Small Grant. The authors appreciate contributions of the participants and of Dr. Kathleen Knafl and Dr. Judith Baggs. Part of this study was presented at the 44th annual Western Institute of Nursing Communicating Nursing Research Conference, April 16, 2011 in Las Vegas, Nevada.


Cognitive interviewing (CI) has been used by instrument developers to examine how well an instrument generates the intended data when tested with prospective respondents. In using CI to test a new instrument to measure patients' perceptions of the quality of nursing care, the authors found challenges in applying a theory-based traditional CI approach derived from experimental psychology to more clinically oriented nursing research. The purposes of this article are to describe these challenges and the modifications of CI to capture the nursing care perspectives of hospitalized participants, and to present interpretive phenomenology as a theoretical orientation for clinically situated CI. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Res Nurs Health 36: 623–633, 2013