Developing Items to Measure Theory of Planned Behavior Constructs for Opioid Administration for Children: Pilot Testing

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The Theory of Planned Behavior (TpB) is useful to direct nursing research aimed at behavior change. As proposed in the TpB, individuals' attitudes, perceived norms, and perceived behavior control predict their intentions to perform a behavior and subsequently predict their actual performance of the behavior. Our purpose was to apply Fishbein and Ajzen's guidelines to begin development of a valid and reliable instrument for pediatric nurses' attitudes, perceived norms, perceived behavior control, and intentions to administer PRN opioid analgesics when hospitalized children self-report moderate to severe pain. Following Fishbein and Ajzen's directions, we were able to define the behavior of interest and specify the research population, formulate items for direct measures, elicit salient beliefs shared by our target population and formulate items for indirect measures, and prepare and test our questionnaire. For the pilot testing of internal consistency of measurement items, Cronbach alphas were between 0.60 and 0.90 for all constructs. Test-retest reliability correlations ranged from 0.63 to 0.90. Following Fishbein and Ajzen's guidelines was a feasible and organized approach for instrument development. In these early stages, we demonstrated good reliability for most subscales, showing promise for the instrument and its use in pain management research. Better understanding of the TpB constructs will facilitate the development of interventions targeted toward nurses' attitudes, perceived norms, and/or perceived behavior control to ultimately improve their pain behaviors toward reducing pain for vulnerable children.

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