Article Text

  1. E A Fitzpatrick1,
  2. J A McFetridge-Durdle2
  1. 1Emergency Department, IWK Health Centre, Halifax, NS, Canada
  2. 2School of Nursing and Department of Medicine, Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS, Canada


Objective The purpose of this study was to validate a scale developed to measure parental uncertainty in the emergency setting (Perception of Parental Uncertainty Scale-Acute: PPUS-A). Parental perception of uncertainty in relation to acute childhood illness is an important yet under investigated variable of stress.

Acute illnesses are common among children, are stressful for parents and often bring a family to attend an emergency department. The development and validation of a scale to measure parental uncertainty in the emergency setting may have significance for further research into this important construct.

Methods This was a modification and validation of a scale developed to measure parental uncertainty. The study entailed three phases: 1) content validation, 2) face validation, and 3) construct validity and reliability. For the third phase, construct validation and reliability, 34 parents of children with a fever under the age of 2 years were recruited to complete the scale pre and post visit with the physician in the Emergency Department.

Results Descriptive statistics will be generated using SPSS. Categorical data will be analysed using χ2 and Fisher’s exact test. Cronbach’s alpha will be used to assess internal consistency for the entire scale and for each of the four subscales. Validity analyses will include concurrent validity and construct validity.

Conclusion Data entry will be completed by 30 May 2008. Data analysis will be completed in time for presentation.

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