Measuring patient respect in the intensive care unit: Validation of the ICU-RESPECT instrument

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To validate a brief index of patient and family experiences of respect in the intensive care unit.

Material and methods:

A survey including the 10-item ICU-RESPECT scale was administered to patients and family members in one ICU at a large west coast academic medical center. Confirmatory psychometric analyses were conducted.


Based on 142 completed surveys, factor analysis confirmed a unidimensional scale with an alpha of 0.90, an Eigen value of 4.9, and factor loadings from 0.50 to 0.86. The mean total score was 7.59 (SD = 3.06) out of a maximum of 10. Among the 106 surveys that included demographics, overall scores did not differ by type of respondent (patient or family) or by gender. There were modest differences in overall scores by patient race. Two individual items differed by type of respondent.


The ICU-RESPECT index demonstrates reliability and concurrent validity in a different ICU setting from the one where the index was developed. Future research should assess the scale's predictive validity, and factors associated with variation in scores. As hospitals address patient experience more broadly in response to national metrics, the index could identify particular behaviors or ICUs that would benefit from interventions to enhance respectful treatment.

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