AACN Synergy Model's Characteristics of Patients: Psychometric Analyses in a Tertiary Care Health System

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Models for delivery of patient care that recognize the relationship between the characteristics of the patient and the competencies of the nurse are essential for high-quality outcomes.


(1) To test application of a case report form used to assess patients' characteristics as defined by the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) Synergy Model for Patient Care in a general population of pediatric and adult patients and (2) to evaluate the internal consistency reliability and construct validity of the patient characteristics measure found on the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses Web site.


A cross-sectional correlational study was conducted in 2 phases. The first phase consisted of secondary data analysis of 481 ratings of patients provided by 11 expert nurses. The second phase consisted of primary data collection of 279 ratings of patients provided by 116 general and critical care nurses. The case report form was used to rate characteristics of patients in both phases; a self-rated nursing proficiency scale was used in the second phase. Descriptive statistics were used to describe the sample. Correlational techniques were used to evaluate internal consistency reliability and evidence of construct validity.


The case report form based on the AACN Synergy Model's characteristics of patients showed satisfactory internal consistency reliability and evidence of discriminant construct validity. Exploratory factor analysis resulted in a 2-factor solution representing an intrapersonal interaction factor and an interpersonal interaction factor.


The case report form for assessing characteristics of patients showed utility in a general population of adult and pediatric patients, some critically ill and some not. Nurses without previous knowledge of the AACN Synergy Model were able to apply the model during routine patient care. (American Journal of Critical Care. 2007;16:158-167)

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