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Development of an instrument to measure the degree of critical patient's satisfaction with nursing care: research protocol


Correspondence to L. de-la-Cueva-Ariza:




To investigate and understand patient's satisfaction with nursing care in the intensive care unit to identify the dimensions of the concept of ‘satisfaction’ from the patient's point of view. To design and validate a questionnaire that measures satisfaction levels in critical patients.


There are many instruments capable of measuring satisfaction with nursing care; however, they do not address the reality for critical patients nor are they applicable in our context.


A dual approach study comprising: a qualitative phase employing Grounded Theory and a quantitative and descriptive phase to prepare and validate the questionnaire.


Data collection in the qualitative phase will consist of: in-depth interview after theoretical sampling, on-site diary and expert discussion group. The sample size will depend on the expected theoretical saturation = 27–36. Analysis will be based on Grounded Theory. For the quantitative phase, the sampling will be based on convenience (= 200). A questionnaire will be designed on the basis of qualitative data. Descriptive and inferential statistics will be used. The validation will be developed on the basis of the validity of the content, the criteria of the construct and reliability of the instrument by the Cronbach's alpha and test–retest approach. Approval date for this protocol was November 2010.


Self-perceptions, beliefs, experiences, demographic, socio-cultural epistemological and political factors are determinants for satisfaction, and these should be taken into account when compiling a questionnaire on satisfaction with nursing care among critical patients.