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anxiety, nursing, pilot study, psychometric testing, research, Serenity Scale



  1. Kruse, Barbara G. ARNP, PhD
  2. Heinemann, Denise DrPH, RN
  3. Moody, Linda RN, PhD
  4. Beckstead, Jason PhD
  5. Conley, Cid Ellis PhD


Serenity has been defined as a sustained inner peace. Peace at the end of life has been identified as the most desired goal of all but is difficult to attain for many individuals approaching the end of life. Nurses have a unique and primary responsibility to assist individuals at the end of life to experience a peaceful death. Well-validated psychometrically sound instruments are needed to measure the presence of serenity and to build knowledge about ways people can achieve a peaceful death. This pilot study examined the validity and reliability of the 40-item Serenity Scale in a sample of older adult male and female hospital volunteer workers. The scale's average inter-item correlations were compared with two additional instruments, Dealing With Illness- Coping Scale (DWI-C) and the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI). A Cronbach alpha coefficient of 0.93 was obtained for the overall scale. Comparison of Serenity Scale responses with the DWI-C and STAI showed a strong positive correlation between serenity and cognitive coping (r = 0.46), a moderate positive correlation with behavioral coping (r = 0.37), a weak correlation with state anxiety (r = 0.26), and no relationship with trait anxiety (r = 0.18), supporting the conceptual basis of the Serenity Scale. Results demonstrated that the Serenity Scale measures a single construct and is a psychometrically sound measure of serenity in adults.