Journal of Advanced Nursing

Cover image for Vol. 72 Issue 5

Edited By: Editor-in-Chief: Roger Watson; Editors: Robyn Gallagher, Mark Hayter, Jane Noyes, Rita Pickler & Brenda Roe

Impact Factor: 1.741

ISI Journal Citation Reports © Ranking: 2014: 8/109 (Nursing (Social Science)); 10/111 (Nursing (Science))

Online ISSN: 1365-2648

Instrument development

Last updated: November 2015

Papers submitted to JAN should not normally exceed 5,000 words for the main text, including quotations but excluding the summary statement, tables and references.

JAN has published this useful guide by David Streiner and Jan Kottner to writing articles about the development and assessment of instruments and scales.

Please note that we do not publish translations followed by validations of instruments unless this is presented within the context of a larger study.

Organising your paper:

Separate files to be created and uploaded onto ScholarOne Manuscripts:

Title page file:
Your title page should include the following information:
• Full title (maximum 25 words)
• Running head
• Author details: names (please put last names in CAPITALS), job titles and affiliations (maximum of 3 per author), qualifications (maximum of 3 per author, including RN/RM where appropriate)
• Acknowledgements (if applicable)
Conflict of Interest statement
Funding Statement

Impact Statement
We ask all authors to prepare a short statement (approximately 100 words), using bullet points if necessary, on any impact you see your paper having in terms of patients, clinical practice, education, or wider social and economic issues. This will be seen by editors and reviewers and may be used for promotional purposes.

Main file, to include:
Abstract: 250 words. Your abstract should include the following headings: Aim, Background, Design, Method (include the period of data collection), Results, Conclusion. The abstract aim should state: 'To develop and psychometrically test [name of instrument]'.
Summary Statement: See the Summary Statement guidelines.
Keywords: A maximum of 10. Should include 'instrument development'.
Main Text: To include the headings below, and references.

Tables and figures should be uploaded separately.

The main text of your instrument development paper should include the following headings:

Provide the rationale and context for development of the instrument.

Clearly identify and define the concept that was operationalised by the instrument. Situate the concept within the context of a theory. For example, ‘X Questionnaire was designed to measure concept X, which is viewed within the context of XYZ theory.’

Present a critical review of existing literature regarding the concept.

Critically evaluate any existing instruments that measure the concept and explain how X Questionnaire overcomes limitations in those instruments.

Discuss the international relevance of the instrument.

Aim(s) of the study should emphasise development and testing of psychometric properties of the instrument. Write the aim of the study exactly the same in the abstract and text. For example, ‘The purpose of the study was to develop and test the psychometric properties of X Questionnaire.’

Indicate whether the instrument was developed in phases or stages, such as one phase for item generation, another phase for content validity testing, and yet another phase for testing other psychometric properties, such as internal consistency reliability and construct validity. If more than one phase/stage, present all methods and results for the first phase, followed by all methods and results for the next phase, and so on. If translation of the instrument was required, indicate methods used, such as translation and back translation.

Indicate the size of the sample for each phase/stage and justify sample size. Indicate how study participants were recruited. The date of data collection must be given in the text and abstract. Please note that JAN does not normally publish data that are over 5 years old.

Describe the instrument, including how items were generated, number of initial items, any subscales, rating scale, and scoring technique.

Ethical considerations
Identify any particular ethical issues that were attached to this research. Provide a statement of ethics committee approval. Do not name the university or other institution from which ethics committee approval was obtained. State only that ethics committee approval was obtained from a university and/or whatever other organisation is relevant.

Present the results for each phase/stage.

Refer to reliability and validity coefficients as ‘estimates.’

Include descriptive data, such as means, standard deviations, and ranges, for instrument total and subscale or factor scores.

If factor analysis was used to test construct validity, indicate type of factor analysis and rotation used.

Use tentative language when discussing psychometric properties, such as ‘evidence of acceptable reliability and validity’ or ‘estimates of reliability and validity.’ Do not conclude that psychometric properties were ‘established’ or ‘proven.’

Use the most recent editions of references cited for judgments of ‘acceptable’ psychometric properties.

End with limitations, including but not confined to sample representativeness and/or sample size and generalisability/external validity of the results.

Indicate appropriate use of the instrument on the basis of estimates of psychometric properties, including populations, and settings.

Discuss the utility of the conceptual model that guided the study and the empirical adequacy of the theoretical concept measured by the instrument.