Cross-cultural validation of the moral sensitivity questionnaire-revised Chinese version

Nurs Ethics. 2016 Nov;23(7):784-793. doi: 10.1177/0969733015583183. Epub 2015 May 22.


Background: Ethical issues pose challenges for nurses who are increasingly caring for patients in complicated situations. Ethical sensitivity is a prerequisite for nurses to make decisions in the best interest of their patients in daily practice. Currently, there is no tool for assessing ethical sensitivity in Chinese language, and no empirical studies of ethical sensitivity among Chinese nurses.

Research objectives: The study was conducted to translate the Moral Sensitivity Questionnaire-Revised Version (MSQ-R) into Chinese and establish the psychometric properties of the Moral Sensitivity Questionnaire-Revised Version into Chinese (MSQ-R-CV).

Research design: This research was a methodological and descriptive study.

Participants and research context: MSQ-R was translated into Chinese using Brislin's model, and the Translation Validity Index was evaluated. MSQ-R-CV was then distributed along with a demographic questionnaire to 360 nurses working at tertiary and municipal hospitals in Changsha, China.

Ethical considerations: This study was approved by the Institutional Review Boards of Yale University and Central South University.

Findings: MSQ-R-CV achieved Cronbach's alpha 0.82, Spearman-Brown coefficient 0.75, significant item discrimination (p < 0.001), and item-total correlation values ranging from 0.524 to 0.717. A two-factor structure was illustrated by exploratory factor analysis, and further confirmed by confirmatory factor analysis. Chinese nurses had a mean total score of 40.22 ± 7.08 on the MSQ-R-CV, and sub-scores of 23.85 ± 4.4 for moral responsibility and strength and 16.37 ± 3.75 for sense of moral burden.

Discussion: The findings of this study were compared with studies from other countries to examine the structure and meaningful implications of ethical sensitivity in Chinese nurses.

Conclusion: The two-factor MSQ-R-CV (moral responsibility and strength, and sense of moral burden) is a linguistically and culturally appropriate instrument for assessing ethical sensitivity among Chinese nurses.

Keywords: China; moral sensitivity; nurse; nursing; scale validation.

Publication types

  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • China
  • Cross-Cultural Comparison*
  • Empathy*
  • Ethics, Nursing*
  • Factor Analysis, Statistical
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Nursing Staff, Hospital / ethics*
  • Nursing Staff, Hospital / psychology
  • Psychometrics
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • Surveys and Questionnaires / standards*
  • Translations
  • Young Adult