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family, family-centered care, hospitalization, instrument development



  1. Curley, Martha A. Q.
  2. Hunsberger, Mabel
  3. Harris, Sion Kim


Background: Caring for families is fundamental to pediatric nursing. However, existing measures do not capture parents' experiences with family-centered nursing care.


Objective: The aim of this study was to describe the development and initial psychometric testing of the Family-Centered Care Scale, a seven-item instrument designed to measure a parent's experience of nursing care that embodies core principles of family-centered care.


Methods: In Phase 1, 18 items describing what nurses do to engage parents of hospitalized children were derived from the literature describing mutuality. After establishing face validity, pretesting, and revision for clarity, the scale was administered to a convenience sample of 91 parents of hospitalized patients. In Phase 2, two items on parents' perceptions of being well-cared-for were added. The 20-item scale was administered to 564 parents of children recruited from all inpatient units in a children's hospital. In Phase 3, the scale was shortened to seven items and retested for validity among 454 additional parents.


Results: Internal consistency reliability was high across all versions and testing phases. Confirmatory factor analysis with data from a subsequent sample supported the final factor structure, regardless of patient type and race. There was a linear association between the scale consistency scores and overall quality of care ratings, supporting predictive validity of the scale.


Discussion: The Family-Centered Care Scale showed initial evidence of reliability and validity among parents with hospitalized children.