Objective: To develop a validated measure of professionals’ attitudes towards clinical adverse event reporting (CAER).
Design: Cross-sectional survey with follow-up.
Participants: 201 doctors and nurse/nurse-midwives undergoing postqualification training in Leeds, York and Hull Universities in 2003.
Materials: A questionnaire which comprised 73 items extracted from interviews with professionals; a second, statistically reduced version of this questionnaire.
Results: The analysis supported a 25-item questionnaire comprising five factors: blame as a consequence of reporting (six items); criteria for reporting (six items); colleagues’ expectations (six items); perceived benefits of reporting events (five items); and clarity of reporting procedures (two items). The resulting questionnaire, the Reporting of Clinical Adverse Effects Scale (RoCAES), had satisfactory internal consistency (Cronbach’s α = 0.83) and external reliability (Spearman’s correlation = 0.65). The construct validity hypothesis—doctors have less positive attitudes towards CAER than nurses—was supported (t = 5.495; p<0.0001).
Conclusion: Initial development of an evidence-based, psychometrically rigorous measure of attitudes towards CAER has been reported. Following additional testing, RoCAES may be used to systematically elicit professionals’ views about, and inform interventions to improve, reporting behaviour.
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Funding: Department of Health Sciences, University of York PhD Scholarship. The author’s work is independent of the funding source.
Competing interests: None.
Ethics approval: Approval was obtained from module tutors to contact students in their classes. Local ethics committee approval was not required, as the study was undertaken in August/September 2003 with a student sample.
Contributors: BW (Guarantor); HLB; FF—each fulfils the criteria of authorship as laid out in the uniform requirements for manuscripts submitted to medical journals. No other person or persons fulfil this requirement.