Nurses' Knowledge of Heart Failure Education Principles Survey: A Psychometric Study

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Aims.  To compare the psychometric properties of the original dichotomously scored Nurses’ Knowledge of Heart Failure Self-Management Education Principles Survey with a Likert scored version.

Background.  Nurses must be knowledgeable of HF self-management principles to provide optimal education to patients. Psychometrically strong instruments to measure nurses’ knowledge of HF self-management provide important insight into gaps of nurses’ knowledge.

Design.  This psychometric study had a two phase non-experimental design comparing the psychometric characteristics of two versions of an existing survey in addition to test–retest reliability of the revised survey.

Methods.  A convenience sample of 122 nurses was recruited from a healthcare system located in the Southeastern USA. Data were collected from August 2006 through December 2006. Nurses completed the two versions of the survey.

Results.  The sample was predominantly Caucasian (76%), female (95%) with a mean age of 42 years (SD 11·4). Internal consistency reliability was 0·27 for the dichotomously scored version of the survey and 0·70 for the Likert scored version. The test–retest reliability of the Likert scored survey was r = 0·66. Data from individual Likert scored items indicated nurses were most knowledgeable about the need to continue daily weights even after HF symptoms are gone (mean = 4·43, SD 0·51) and least knowledgeable about how to advise asymptomatic patients to manage a low BP reading (mean = 2·11, SD 0·98).

Conclusion.  The Likert scored version of the Nurses’ Knowledge of Heart Failure Self-Management Principles Survey was stronger psychometrically than the dichotomously scored version.

Relevance to clinical practice.  Teaching HF self-management skills to patients is challenging and it is important to identify nurses’ gaps in knowledge of self-management principles. The psychometrically sound Likert scored version of the survey potentially may be used to identify nurses’ knowledge gaps and inform staff development in-services.