Development and psychometric characteristics of the spirituality assessment scale




Howden, Judy

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Nurses consider spirituality as a factor that may influence an individual's health and/or response to illness, death and dying. The need in nursing for an instrument to assess an individual's spirituality was the problem addressed by this study. The conceptual framework for the research study was developed around four general themes of identified attributes of spirituality derived from a review of the literature: Unifying Interconnectedness, Innerness or Inner Resources, Purpose and Meaning in Life, and Transcendence. The themes were represented as four concepts in a developed model that guided development of the Spirituality Assessment Scale (SAS). Psychometric evaluation of the 36-item instrument was conducted following investigation of content validity and a subsequent pilot study. A convenience sample of 189 adults between the ages of 40 and 60 years residing in a large metroplex and 50-mile radius area participated in the study. Participants were recruited from civic and social organizations and a recreational center. All responses were voluntary and anonymous.

Data were analyzed using Cronbach's coefficient alpha, Pearson product-moment correlation and exploratory principal components factor analysis. The findings resulted in a final revised instrument with 28 items. Alpha coefficients for the 28-item total instrument was 0.9164. Alpha coefficients for the subscales were: Purpose or Meaning, 0.9117; Innerness, 0. 7944; Interconnectedness, 0.8017; and Transcendence, 0.7091. Most item to- total correlations ranged from 0.30 to 0.70. Seventy percent ofinter-item correlations ranged from 0.30 to 0.70. Fifty percent of item-subscale correlations ranged from 0.50 to 0.70. Two thirds {66%) of subscale-subscale correlations ranged from 0.55 to 0.70. Exploratory factor analysis yielded six factors with four or more items each loading at 0.40 or higher. The Innerness and Interconnectedness subscales produced two factors each with conceputal congruency evident in the "split" factors. The findings of factor analysis supported the four concepts in the researcher's theoretical model of spirituality. External validity of the study was assessed through theoretically predicted relationships between SAS and select variables and provided mixed results. One predicted relationship was supported and two were not. The study's findings provided beginning support for SAS as a reliable and valid measure of spirituality. A valid and reliable instrument can assist the study of spirituality, a basic human dimension. Assessment of spirituality and

possible relationships to health-related concerns could have significant impact for individuals and nursing practice.



Spiritual life, Psychometrics, Transcendence (Philosophy)