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Reporting of Clinical Adverse Events Scale: a measure of doctor and nurse attitudes to adverse event reporting
  1. B Wilson1,
  2. H L Bekker2,
  3. F Fylan3
  1. 1
    Department of Health Sciences, University of York, Heslington, York, UK
  2. 2
    Institute of Health Sciences and Public Health Research, School of Medicine, University of Leeds, Leeds, UK
  3. 3
    Department of Psychology, School of Health and Human Sciences, Leeds Metropolitan University, Leeds, UK
  1. Dr B Wilson, Research Associate, School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work, The University of Manchester, Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9PL, UK; barbara.wilson{at}


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.