Development of an instrument to measure hope

Nurs Res. 1988 Jan-Feb;37(1):6-10.


The purpose of this study was to develop an instrument to measure hope in adults and to evaluate its psychometric properties. A 40-item Miller Hope Scale (MHS) was developed based on critical elements of hope revealed in a comprehensive review of the literature and on an exploratory study of hope in persons who survived a critical illness. The instrument was critiqued by measurement and content experts, and content validity was established. The MHS was pretested on 75 subjects. The refined instrument was next evaluated using 522 healthy adults. The intent was to establish norms on the instrument before using it on ill subjects. The range of scores on the MHS is 40 to 200, with high scores indicating high hope. Mean hope score for this healthy sample was 164.46 (SD = 16.31). A leptokurtic curve, skewed to the left, was noted in these responses. As expected, the instrument detected high hope in individuals who were screened to have no physical or mental health problems. The internal consistency alpha coefficient was .93 with a 2-week test-retest reliability of .82. Criterion-related construct validity was established by correlating the MHS to the Psychological Well-Being Scale, r = .71, the Existential Well-Being Scale, r = .82, and a 1-item hope self-assessment, r = .69. Divergent validity with the Hopelessness Scale was established, r = -.54. Maximum likelihood factor analysis with oblimin rotation resulted in a three-factor solution: I, Satisfaction with Self, Others, and Life; II, Avoidance of Hope Threats; and III, Anticipation of a Future.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Attitude*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Personal Satisfaction
  • Psychological Tests* / standards
  • Psychometrics