The meaning of privacy by health care consumers: instrument development

Date
1991-05
Authors
Richardson, Jdee
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Abstract

The purpose of the theory based methodological study was to study the concept of privacy. The research questions tested were: (1) Was the internal consistency of the Richardson Privacy Instrument greater than.7 when administered to health care consumers? and (2) Are the factors of self-ego, environment, and interpersonal identified in the Richardson Privacy Instrument?

The target population was health care consumers. A convenience sample was used. The population consisted of subjects from business and clinical offices, college campuses located in various parts of the United States. The population comprised 401 English speaking adults ranging from 21 to 88 years of age.

The instrument development process yielded the Richardson Privacy Instrument which presented the dimensions of privacy through 46 items. The items were expressed in the environment of health care situations. The RPI was a scaled instrument with six choices: strongly agree = 6, agree = 5, somewhat agree = 4, somewhat disagree = 3, disagree = 2, strongly disagree = 1. Demographic data collected was: age, sex, cultural background, income level, education level, and whether the individual had ever been hospitalized.

For estimate of construct validity of the RPI, factor analysis was used. Cronbach's alpha was used to assess internal consistency of the RPI.

The coefficient alpha for all 46 items was.8235 (standardized item alpha =.8221) which was greater than the.7 presented in research question one, and within the range advocated by Nunnally (1978) for predictive instruments.

For construct validity of the RPI a factor analysis was statistically computed using the SPSSX program. Varimax rotation produced a 15 factor matrix with loadings for each item. For interpretation of factor weights in this study a cutoff of.4 was used yielding 4 factors. These were interpreted within the theoretical framework of privacy and given the labels of: (Factor 1) Interpersonal self disclosure to the public. (Factor 2) Self-ego. (Factor 3) Interpersonal family and spiritual self disclosure to health care personnel. (Factor 4) Unclear.

At alpha coefficient of.8235 for the RPI, and factor analysis which supports the dimensions of privacy the RPI shows merit and potential for further study.

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Keywords
Social research, Families & family life, Personal relationships, Sociology, Privacy, Health care, Consumers
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