Psychometric properties of the Attitudes towards Medical Communication Scale in nursing students

PeerJ. 2021 May 25;9:e11034. doi: 10.7717/peerj.11034. eCollection 2021.


Background: Adequate communication skills in healthcare professionals are one of the key elements required for achieving high-quality healthcare. Thus, measurement instruments able to assess the dimensions related to these skills, including attitudes towards communication, are useful and convenient tools.

Objectives: To (a) cross-culturally adapt and validate a scale to measure attitudes towards communication in a sample of nursing students in the Spanish environment; (b) describe the perceived attitudes of nursing degree students towards communication.

Methods: We conducted an instrumental study. First, we adapted the scale by applying a standardised linguistic validation procedure. After that, we determined its structural equivalence and evaluated its psychometric properties.

Participants: A total of 255 students participated; their average age was 22.66 years (SD = 4.75) and 82% were female.

Results: The internal consistency of the scale was adequate (0.75), and the data fit well with the model (CFI = 0.99; TLI = 0.99; RMSEA = .01 95% CI [.00-.05]). The overall instrument score poorly correlated with the self-efficacy in communication skills variable.

Conclusions: The attitudes towards communication scores for these nursing students were high. The Spanish version of the Attitudes Towards Health Communication scale had adequate psychometric properties and this tool could quickly and easily be applied to assess the attitudes of health profession students.

Keywords: Attitudes; Evidence-base practice; Health communication; Nursing students; Psychometrics.

Grant support

This study was funded by the Program Redes-I 3CE for Research in University Teaching of the Institute of Education Science (Vice-chancellorship of Quality and Educational Innovation) of the University of Alicante, edition 2018-19 (No. XARXES-I3CE-2018-4344). The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.