Qualitative Approaches Appropriate in Instrument Development for Children, Youths, and Family Members...28th Annual Scientific Session, June 2-6, 2017, Baltimore, Maryland

Document Type


Publication Date



Emergency Medicine

Journal Title

Nursing Research

MeSH Headings

Research, Nursing Organizations; Quality of Nursing Care; Congresses and Conferences Maryland; Maryland


Background: Qualitative methods capture essential aspects of phenomena from the perspective of study participants and are useful in exploring complex social processes and beliefs and values that underlie individual health behaviors and family dynamics. The processes of data generation and interpretation to create an item pool are essential in new instrument development. Qualitative techniques useful in this process include triangulating child, parent, and professional views; cognitive interviews; focus group discussions; and expert item review. These approaches may be employed using novel techniques such as face-to-face, telephone, Skype, and Internet conferencing. These methods vary in utility depending on the nature of the concept under study, type of instrument desired, and participants' developmental levels. Purpose: As measuring phenomena of interest to nursing depends upon the collection of quantitative data, qualitative methods are often overlooked during the process of instrument development. However, measure accuracy is hinged upon fully understanding the concept under study; failure to achieve this may result in tools with limited validity. We describe the utility of qualitative methodologies in creating measures to assess concepts in child and family health. Methods: Development of a new youth bullying screening tool has incorporated the use of focus groups conducted via in-person and Intranet-based conferencing. Youth focus groups held with a diverse sample coupled with qualitative descriptive analyses have yielded a contextually rich and developmentally relevant pool of potential items. Intranet-based focus groups conducted with a diverse panel of education and healthcare professionals have also generated promising items with perceived utility from both disciplinary perspectives. Results: Triangulation of data from multiple perspectives has resulted in a more full understanding of the bullying experience than would be possible from a quantitative perspective alone. The use of Intranet-based focus groups successfully facilitated sharing of wide-range expertise gathered from across varied disciplines, geographies, socioeconomic statuses, and racial/ethnic contexts. The resultant draft instrument represents a potentially more meaningful measure than those created from a single perspective. Conclusions/Implications: Qualitative methods facilitate the development of instruments used to assess health concepts in children and families by capturing people's perspectives and insights, often neglected in traditional approaches. Evaluation of the instrument drafted using these techniques are underway.

First Page


Last Page