Buy this Article for $7.95

Have a coupon or promotional code? Enter it here:

When you buy this you'll get access to the ePub version, a downloadable PDF, and the ability to print the full article.


  1. Rashid, Mahbub PhD, RA
  2. Boyle, Diane K. PhD, RN
  3. Crosser, Michael MD


The objective of the study was to develop instruments for describing and assessing some aspects of design of the primary work areas of nurses and physicians in intensive care units (ICUs). Separate questionnaires for ICU physicians and nurses were developed. Items related to individual- and unit-level design features of the primary work areas of nurses and physicians were organized using constructs found in the literature. Items related to staff satisfaction and staff use of time in relation to primary work area design were also included. All items and constructs were reviewed by experts for content validity and were modified as needed before use. The final questionnaires were administered to a convenience sample of 4 ICUs in 2 large urban hospitals. A total of 55 nurses and 29 physicians completed the survey. The Cronbach [alpha] was used to measure internal consistency, and factor analysis was used to provide construct-related validity. Convergent and discriminant validity were assessed through examining bivariate correlations between relevant scales/items. Analysis of variance was used to identify whether the between-group member responses were significant among the 4 units. The Cronbach [alpha] values for all except 3 preliminary scales indicated acceptable reliability. Factor analysis indicated that some preliminary scales could be partitioned into subscales for finer descriptions of the primary work areas. Correlational analysis provided strong evidence of convergent and discriminant validity of all the scales and subscales. The significance level of F-statistics showed that the units were significantly different from each other, providing evidence of more between-unit variance than within-unit variance. Therefore, the questionnaires developed in the study offer a promising departure point for rigorous description and evaluation of the primary work areas in relation to staff satisfaction and use of time in ICUs at a time when the importance of such studies is growing.