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attitudes, behaviors, critical care, end-of-life care, instrument development, values



  1. Zomorodi, Meg
  2. Lynn, Mary R.


Background: Although critical care nurses are expected to focus on providing life-sustaining measures, many intensive care patients actually receive end-of-life care.


Objectives: The aim of this study was to develop an instrument to measure nursing attitudes and behaviors regarding end-of-life care.


Method: Phase 1 was focused on item development from a content analysis of the literature and qualitative interviews of critical care nurses. Phase 2 consisted of content validity assessment and pilot testing. Phase 3 included field testing, factor analysis, and reliability estimation.


Results: The Values of Intensive Care Nurses for End-of-Life (n = 695) was found to have four factors: Self-appraisal, Appraisal of Others, Emotional Strain, and Moral Distress. Reliability estimates ([alpha]) were acceptable at .59-.78, but the interitem range (.12-.78) was wider than desirable. Test-retest reliability was deemed adequate based on Pearson's correlations (.68-.81) and intraclass correlation coefficients (.65-.79) but less so when considering [kappa] (.05-.30). The Behaviors of Intensive Care Nurses for End-of-Life (n = 682) was found to have two factors: Communication and Nursing Tasks. Reliability estimates were adequate when considering internal consistency ([alpha] = .67 and .78, respectively), item total correlations (.30-.61), and test-retest as judged by Pearson's and intraclass correlations (.77-.81) but not when [kappa] was considered (.02-.40). The interitem correlations (.20-.35) were also lower than desirable.


Discussion: Both the Values of Intensive Care Nurses for End-of-Life and the Behaviors of Intensive Care Nurses for End-of-Life were found to have conceptually linked factors and acceptable internal consistency estimates ([alpha]). However, test-retest estimates were inconsistent, suggesting that further work needs to be done on the stability of these instruments.