Objective: Clinical management is hypothesized to be critical for hospital management and hospital performance. The aims of this study were to develop and validate professional involvement scales for measuring the level of clinical management by physicians and nurses in European hospitals.
Design: Testing of validity and reliability of scales derived from a questionnaire of 21 items was developed on the basis of a previous study and expert opinion and administered in a cross-sectional seven-country research project 'Deepening our Understanding of Quality improvement in Europe' (DUQuE).
Setting and participants: A sample of 3386 leading physicians and nurses working in 188 hospitals located in Czech Republic, France, Germany, Poland, Portugal, Spain and Turkey.
Main outcome measures: Validity and reliability of professional involvement scales and subscales.
Results: Psychometric analysis yielded four subscales for leading physicians: (i) Administration and budgeting, (ii) Managing medical practice, (iii) Strategic management and (iv) Managing nursing practice. Only the first three factors applied well to the nurses. Cronbach's alpha for internal consistency ranged from 0.74 to 0.86 for the physicians, and from 0.61 to 0.81 for the nurses. Except for the 0.74 correlation between 'Administration and budgeting' and 'Managing medical practice' among physicians, all inter-scale correlations were <0.70 (range 0.43-0.61). Under testing for construct validity, the subscales were positively correlated with 'formal management roles' of physicians and nurses.
Conclusions: The professional involvement scales appear to yield reliable and valid data in European hospital settings, but the scale 'Managing medical practice' for nurses needs further exploration. The measurement instrument can be used for international research on clinical management.
Keywords: clinical management; hospital management; professional involvement; quality systems.