Background and objectives: Assessing health needs is pivotal in healthcare systems, ensuring that services are appropriate for a population's genuine needs. In the absence of an appropriate investigational tool, a comprehensive process of questionnaire development was undertaken to evaluate and validate a specific health needs assessment tool for cardiac patients (Nottingham Health Needs Assessment; NHNA). Its psychometric properties were investigated in a survey of patients admitted with acute coronary syndromes.
Method: Two hundred and forty-two consecutive patients admitted to an acute cardiac unit with symptoms suggestive of acute myocardial infarction completed a postal questionnaire about health needs and quality-of-life, using generic (Short Form 12 and EuroQol-5D) and specific (Seattle Angina Questionnaire) health-related quality-of-life instruments.
Results: Forty-six items were assigned to five domains of health-related needs according to principal component analysis, with high internal consistency (0.83-0.89). Each domain in the NHNA questionnaire correlated highly with its quality-of-life counterpart, indicating relatively high concurrent validity.
Conclusion: The NHNA questionnaire has acceptable psychometric features, with satisfactory construct validity as determined by quality-of-life analysis. This health needs assessment instrument appears to be a reliable means of identifying patients' needs, which is an important landmark for directing health services.