Measuring Nurses' Knowledge, Attitudes, and Practices of the Safe Handling of the Morbidly Obese Patient: Instrument Development and Psychometric Testing

Saturday, 16 November 2013

Susan M. Bejciy-Spring, MS, RN
Department of Nursing Quality and Translational Research, The Ohio State University Health System, Columbus, OH
Sally W. Morgan, RN, MSN, ANP-BC
Perioperative Nursing Department, The Ohio State University Medical Center, Columbus, OH
Cheryl L Newton, RN, MSN, CCRN, CNRN
Critical Care Nursing, Ohio State University-Wexner Medical Center, Columbus, OH
Sheila M. Chucta, RN, MS, CCRN
Wexner Medical Center, The Ohio State University, University Hospital East, Columbus, OH
Cindy Gatens, MN, RN, CRRN
Rehabilitation Nursing, The Ohio State University Medical Center, Columbus, OH
Esther M. Chipps, PhD, RN
Nursing Quality and Translational Research, Wexner Medical Center, The Ohio State University Health System, Columbus, OH
Inga M Zadvinskis, MSN, RN
College of Nursing, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH

Learning Objective 1: The learner will be able to describe the instrument development process for measuring nurses' knowledge, attitudes, and practices of the safe handling of bariatric patients.

Learning Objective 2: The learner will be able to discuss the psychometric testing results of the instrument development process.


According to the Centers for Disease Control, obesity is one of the most prevalent health problems in the United States.  Nurses in nearly all clinical specialties can expect to provide care to an increasing number of bariatric patients.  Nursing is considered one of the principal occupations for musculoskeletal work-related injuries, with the main cause of these injuries attributed to patient handling activities.  Unfortunately, significant injuries to nursing staff continue to occur despite implementation of safe patient handling programs and advances in equipment.  Nurses’ knowledge and attitudes regarding patient handling, specifically safe handling of those with morbid obesity, have been identified as key and potentially modifiable factors in the consistent implementation of safe patient handling practices. 


To date, there is no single instrument available to measure nurses’ attitudes and beliefs toward the patient with morbid obesity and the practices of patient handling.  The specific aims of this IRB-approved study are to:  1) develop and assess the psychometric properties of an instrument to measure attitudes and knowledge of nurses related to the care and safe handling of the morbidly obese patient and 2) assess the sensitivity of the newly developed instrument within a computer-based learning program for detecting changes in outcomes over time.


The instrument development process includes: 1) defining the construct and content domains, 2) assessing content validity through expert review of instrument items, 3) pilot testing to determine test-retest reliability, 4) refining the instrument through cognitive interviewing, and 5) conducting exploratory factor analysis to determine construct validity.  Steps 1-4 of the instrument development process have been completed and will be described in this poster presentation.


Using a well-developed instrument, our knowledge regarding the best approach to educate nurses and influence attitudes, perceptions, and intentions about the safe handling of patients with morbid obesity will be enhanced.