Developing an instrument to evaluate suffering related to care

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The ultimate purpose of caring is to alleviate suffering. Interest in the question of suffering has increased in a marked way in the fields of nursing and caring science during the last decade. The aim of the pilot-study was to test the validity and reliability of a newly construed instrument to assess suffering related to care in a sample of 130 nurses. The ultimate aim is to develop a scale which could be used for the continuous evaluation of quality of care. A study comprised of a group of nurses including head nurses, nursing supervisors, and Registered Nurses (n = 130) employed at a central university hospital in Finland. The nurses answered a questionnaire which consisted of a newly construed instrument, such instrument could be used for discovering suffering related to care and thus contribute to good quality of care. The development of the instrument was based on the theoretical perspective of suffering related to care. Principal component analysis was used to test the validity and the internal consistency to test the reliability of the instrument. The analysis provided a four-factor solution, which demonstrated a reasonable level of consistency and reliability. Conclusion indicated that the instrument consisted of four dimensions which reflect and are in correspondence with the theoretical framework. The next step is to cross-validate and refine the instrument by carrying out a confirmatory factor analysis. The development of a robust instrument will contribute towards new thinking in the field of nursing care.

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