• individualized care;
  • instrument development;
  • nursing;
  • reliability;
  • validity


Rationale  Nurses' work is inextricably linked to the evaluation of the quality of care provision in health care. Within this evaluation, individualized care is a topical theme in western countries. Currently, there is no suitable instrument to measure the level of individualized care from the nurses' point of view.

Aim  To report the development process of the individualized care scale – nurse (ICS-Nurse) and to ensure its validity and reliability.

Methods  A methodological design was used. Data were obtained from 544 nurses (N = 923, response rate 59%) from inpatient wards in one university, two regional and two psychiatric hospitals as well as four health centres. Three expert analyses were used to ensure content validity. Cronbach's alpha coefficients and item analysis were used to examine internal consistency reliability. A principal components analysis, Spearman's correlation coefficients, multiple regression analysis and structural equation modelled by LISREL were conducted to evaluate construct validity.

Results  The expert analyses provided good content validity evidence. The ICS-Nurse was easy to administer and able to be completed quickly. There were few missing data. Cronbach's alpha coefficients ranged 0.72–0.84. All item-to-total correlations were acceptable (>0.30), but some of the inter-item correlations were high. The principal components analysis supported the three-component structure explaining 52% of the variance in ICS-A-Nurse and 56% in ICS-B-Nurse. LISREL supported the theoretical model.

Conclusions  The ICS-Nurse is a valid and reliable instrument that can be used to measure nurses' perceptions of individualized nursing care in inpatient wards. There is a need to test instrument further, both nationally and internationally.