THE DEVELOPMENT AND PSYCHOMETRIC TESTING OF THE DIGNITY INSTRUMENT

Dissertation
Description: 

ABSTRACT
Dignity appears to have been an important concept in ancient times, the Middle Ages, through the Renaissance to the present. It is an intrinsic component of nursing practice. However, there is little research in which human dignity has been examined. The purpose of this research was to develop and analyze the psychometric properties of, including factor structure and alpha coefficient, a tool to measure human dignity, titled “The Dignity Instrument”. A 30-item instrument was designed using the literature, an expert on human dignity, a preliminary qualitative study, and the two published dignity studies as a foundation for item development. The Dignity Instrument was then administered to a convenience sample of 326 subjects. The data were analyzed to answer the primary research question; What are the psychometric properties of a newly developed dignity instrument? Exploratory factor analysis was used to demonstrate construct validity. The factors that emerged were titled, Autonomy, Self-Respect and Self-Worthiness, Other-Respect, and Other-Worthiness. A Cronbach’s alpha was computed to determine reliability and demonstrated a high level of internal consistency. Three additional research questions were also asked.
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1. What is the relationship between dignity and selected demographic variables?
2. What is the relationship between dignity and one’s perception of having a chronic illness?
3. What is the relationship between dignity and one’s perceptions of having a recent illness?
The data showed no significant relationships between subjects’ dignity scores and their demographic variables. However, subjects who indicated that they had either a chronic or recent illness had significantly lower dignity scores than those who did not. The data obtained during this study were then used to revise the Dignity Instrument. Implications for future research include testing the revised Dignity Instrument on different samples to further improve the instrument, to identify if a relationship between dignity scores and demographics do exist, and to begin to identify those in whom dignity might be threatened. Ultimately interventions to protect and promote human dignity might be examined.

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WHDL ID: 
WHDL-00003106
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