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Keywords:

  • clinical autonomy;
  • Dutch language;
  • instrument development;
  • intensive care;
  • nursing activity scale;
  • psychometric evaluation

Abstract

Aim.  To report the development and psychometric testing of the Dutch version of the Nursing Activity Scale in a Dutch intensive care unit nursing population.

Background.  The Nursing Activity Scale developed by Schutzenhofer measures professional clinical autonomy, by inquiring about the nurses’ intention to exercise their own clinical decisions. This autonomy is increasingly relevant due to the ongoing professionalization, nurses increasingly have to make their own clinical decisions.

Design.  Instrument development.

Method.  The study was conducted from November 2007–February 2008 and consisted of the following steps: translation, expert panel content validation, reliability testing and further content validation, test–retest stability examination, additional internal consistency, and validity assessment.

Results.  After the first reliability testing two items seen to describe a situation not applicable to intensive care unit nursing in the Netherlands were deleted from the questionnaire. In the test–retest stability assessment the intra class correlation coefficient was 0·76. The Cronbach’s alpha of the final questionnaire was 0·82. The alphas of the subsamples with higher scores were significantly different from those with lower scores, supporting the validity of the weighing of the items.

Conclusion.  The Dutch version of the nursing activity scale consists of 28 items and provides the opportunity to measure professional clinical autonomy for Dutch intensive care nurses using a well-established method.