Measuring individualized nursing care: assessment of reliability and validity of three scales


  • Riitta Suhonen,

    1. Riitta Suhonen PhD RN Quality and Development Manager, Health Care District of Forssa, Forssa, Finland and Researcher, Department of Nursing Science, University of Turku, Turku, Finland
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  • Lee A. Schmidt,

    1. Lee A. Schmidt PhD RN Assistant Professor Niehoff School of Nursing, Loyola University Chicago, Loyola University Medical Center, Maywood, Illinois, USA
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  • Laurel Radwin

    1. Laurel Radwin PhD RN Yvonne Munn Nurse Researcher, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
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Title. Measuring individualized nursing care: assessment of reliability and validity of three scales

Aim.  This paper is a report of a study to assess the reliability and convergent validity of three measures of nursing care individualization.

Background.  Individualized care is a key element of nursing care quality, yet little is known about the extent to which it is implemented, its effects, and the factors that help or hinder nurses in giving individualized care. Therefore reliable and valid instruments are needed to measure individualized nursing care.

Method.  A cross-sectional correlational survey design was used. The purposive sample consisted of 861 patients from six hospitals in Finland (response rate 82%). Data were collected in 2004. The Individualized Care Scale was administered simultaneously with translated versions of the Schmidt's Perceptions of Nursing Care Survey and the Oncology Patients’ Perceptions of the Quality of Nursing Care Scale. Internal consistency reliability and convergent validity were assessed for each scale.

Findings.  Evidence for convergent validity was identified between the Individualized Care Scale (part A/B), the Individualization subscale (r = 0·64 with Part A, r = 0·66 with part B) and the Seeing the Individual Patient subscale (r = 0·68 with part A, r = 0·71 with part B). Cronbach alpha coefficient was 0·97 for the Individualized Care Scale, 0·82 for Seeing the Individual Patient and 0·87 for the Individualization subscale.

Conclusion.  Data provided preliminary evidence for the convergent validity of the individualized care scales, as well as acceptable internal consistency reliability for each scale. These scales represent useful measures for assessing patients’ perceptions of the individualization of nursing care received.