Perceptions of privacy by health care consumers: instrument development

Richards, Mary
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Paucity of instruments to measure privacy prompted a methodological study for the development and testing of an instrument to elucidate privacy perception of a health care consumer. Concrete situations in every day life determine individual perception of privacy in terms of self-ego, environment and interpersonal relationships. Identification of consumers' perception of privacy in health care situations was theorized as a dimension of quality of nursing care. Subsequent to selection of a theory for the concept of privacy and literature review, a 43 item Privacy Questionnaire was developed. Content was validated by a panel of judges. Statistical analysis of test-retest scores from 113 subjects showed a Pearsonian coefficient of r = 0.744. Factor analysis of the pre-test scores identified 12 health care situations related to the theoretical framework of privacy. Identified health care situations were presented in a Privacy Semantic Differential (PSD) to another group of 157 subjects. Statistical analysis for reliability showed a Cronbach's alpha of 0.96 (standardized item alpha = 0.96) for 144 variables. Computation of alpha for 12 concepts yielded an alpha range of 0.844 (standardized item alpha = 0.839) to 0.938 (standardized item alpha = 0.938). Factor analysis demonstrated the relationship of the PSD to the theoretical framework. Implications of the PSD for determining a dimension of quality health care are cited. Recommendations for utilization of the PSD in health care settings for future research on quality of nursing care are suggested.

Perception, Privacy, Health care setting, Health care consumer