Academic journal article Journal of Nursing Measurement

Content Validity and Reliability Testing of the FIN-PED II: A Tool to Measure Care Needs of Parents of Children with Cancer

Academic journal article Journal of Nursing Measurement

Content Validity and Reliability Testing of the FIN-PED II: A Tool to Measure Care Needs of Parents of Children with Cancer

Article excerpt

This study tested the reliability and validity of the refined Family Inventory of Needs-Pediatrics (FIN-PED), the FIN-PED II, a 17-item instrument structured to measure care needs of parents of children with cancer. The instrument comprises three rating scales. The first rating scale measures the importance-of-care needs, the second measures the extent to which needs are met, and the third measures the need for further information. The revised instrument was first pilot tested with an expert panel of three mothers and three fathers of children with cancer who rated the tool for clarity, apparent internal consistency, and content validity. All items met preset criteria for these assessments. The instrument was then mailed to 85 parents of Australian children with cancer and tested for internal consistency reliability and test-retest reliability. Thirty-four parents returned the instrument. All three rating scales achieved high estimates of internal consistency. Evidence of the instrument's stability over time was also achieved. This study provided support for the reliability and content validity of the RN-PED II.

Keywords: Australian parents; care needs; childhood cancer; Family Inventory of NeedsPediatrics; reliability

Despite notable improvements in treatment of children with cancer and a worldwide decline in childhood cancer mortality rates during the past 40 years, the impact of childhood cancer on the patient and family is devastating. The parental role of nurturing and protecting the child is fundamentally challenged by a life-threatening cancer illness and the often distressing effects of treatment (Sloper, 1996). Although there have been improvements in survival rates, there is no assurance of cure, and families will face many stressful events regardless of whether the outcome for the child is cure or death. These events produce a wide and complex range of information needs for all family members. An instrument that reliably and validly assesses the type of information families with children with cancer need, which can be used for research and in clinical settings, is needed. This study reports the psychometric assessment of the Family Inventory of Needs-Pediatric II (FIN-FED II), a measure of the information and care needs of families with children diagnosed with cancer. The FIN-PED II is a revision of the Family Inventory of Needs-Pediatric (FIN-PED) developed by Kristjanson, Atwood, and Degner (1995).


A review of studies examining the effects of chronic disease on families reported high levels of parental emotional distress (Eiser, 1993). The time of diagnosis and initial treatment stage is particularly distressing (Kupst, 1992). Demands of hospitalization and intensive and often prolonged aggressive treatments create problems related to family organization and care of other children (Sloper, 1996). Although the intensity of initial reactions may decrease over time, high levels of distress can persist in some parents for 1 year or more (Fife, Norton, & Groom, 1987; Maguire, 1983).

Literature relating to family care needs is anecdotal and highlights the sensitivity of health professionals to the plight of families whose children have been diagnosed with cancer (Foster, Hunsberger, & Anderson, 1989). Few studies, however, address the care needs of these families. Care needs have been defined as the judgments made by a family member about whether or not health professionals have satisfied their perceived needs. Williams (1992) compared health professionals' perceptions and definitions of support with those of parents of children with cancer. Seven issues related to staff-parent interactions were highlighted. One of the most frequently reported problems was that conflict between parents and staff was more likely if parents did not consider staff to be sensitive to their child's needs. Parents also expressed a need for interactions with health professionals to be conducted in an atmosphere of mutual respect. …

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