The development and psychometric evaluation of the Ethical Issues Scale

J Nurs Scholarsh. 2001;33(3):273-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1547-5069.2001.00273.x.


Purpose: To describe the Ethical Issues Scale (EIS), its conceptual development and psychometric evaluation, and its uses in determining how frequently nurses experience ethical issues in practice.

Design: The EIS was validated with a sample (N = 2,090) of New England registered nurses (RNs) currently in practice. The sample was randomly split into two approximately equal samples. The calibration sample was used to derive the underlying components; the validation sample was used to confirm the component structure.

Methods: Psychometric analysis of the 35-item EIS included: (a) item analysis, (b) confirmatory principal components analysis (PCA), and (c) internal consistency reliability using Cronbach's alpha.

Results: Three components (end-of-life-treatment issues, patient care issues, and human rights issues) were demonstrated, confirming the original conceptually-derived structure. The calibration sample accounted for 42.4% of initially extracted common variance; the validation sample accounted for 41.5% of initially extracted common variance.

Conclusions: The three EIS subscales had satisfactory internal consistency reliability and factorial validity for use as independent scales in future studies.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Ethics, Nursing*
  • Factor Analysis, Statistical
  • Humans
  • New England
  • Psychometrics
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Surveys and Questionnaires*