This paper describes a preliminary study in which an instrument was developed for the measurement of individual care in adult patients and in which the reliability and validity of the instrument were evaluated. Individual care was defined in terms of how patient individuality was taken into account and how patient participation in decision-making was facilitated. The purpose here is to describe the process by which the individual care instrument (IC) was developed, the preliminary testing of the instrument and psychometric evaluation of the instrument in a sample of adult patients discharged from a Finnish general Hospital (n=203). Item analyses showed an acceptable level of internal consistency reliability and homogeneity in each scale of the IC, and Cronbach alpha values were high in every measurement. Exploratory factor analysis supported a three-factor solution. The psychometric evaluations suggested that the instrument is worthy of further development.