Development and psychometric evaluation of the spirituality instrument (SpI-27) in a sample of people with chronic illness

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Weathers, Elizabeth
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University College Cork
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Background: Spirituality is fundamental to all human beings, existing within a person, and developing until death. This research sought to operationalise spirituality in a sample of individuals with chronic illness. A review of the conceptual literature identified three dimensions of spirituality: connectedness, transcendence, and meaning in life. A review of the empirical literature identified one instrument that measures the three dimensions together. Yet, recent appraisals of this instrument highlighted issues with item formulation and limited evidence of reliability and validity. Aim: The aim of this research was to develop a theoretically-grounded instrument to measure spirituality – the Spirituality Instrument-27 (SpI-27). A secondary aim was to psychometrically evaluate this instrument in a sample of individuals with chronic illness (n=249). Methods: A two-phase design was adopted. Phase one consisted of the development of the SpI-27 based on item generation from a concept analysis, a literature review, and an instrument appraisal. The second phase established the psychometric properties of the instrument and included: a qualitative descriptive design to establish content validity; a pilot study to evaluate the mode of administration; and a descriptive correlational design to assess the instrument’s reliability and validity. Data were analysed using SPSS (Version 18). Results: Results of exploratory factor analysis concluded a final five-factor solution with 27 items. These five factors were labelled: Connectedness with Others, Self-Transcendence, Self-Cognisance, Conservationism, and Connectedness with a Higher Power. Cronbach’s alpha coefficients ranged from 0.823 to 0.911 for the five factors, and 0.904 for the overall scale, indicating high internal consistency. Paired-sample t-tests, intra-class correlations, and weighted kappa values supported the temporal stability of the instrument over 2 weeks. A significant positive correlation was found between the SpI-27 and the Spirituality Index of Well-Being, providing evidence for convergent validity. Conclusion: This research addresses a call for a theoretically-grounded instrument to measure spirituality.
Spirituality , Nursing , Instrument development , Chronic illness , Psychometric , Spiritual care
Weathers, E.T. 2014. Development and psychometric evaluation of the spirituality instrument (SpI-27) in a sample of people with chronic illness. PhD Thesis, University College Cork.
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