The spirituality scale: Development, refinement and psychometric testing of an instrument to assess the human spiritual dimension

Date of Completion

January 2003


Health Sciences, Nursing




Mounting evidence of the relationship between spirituality and positive health outcomes has made the assessment of spirituality an important consideration for health care professionals. Current instruments fail to capture the emerging knowledge and multiple expressions of this complex construct. The Spirituality Scale (SS) is a researcher-developed instrument that attempts to assess the human spiritual dimension as it is manifested in adult populations. The instrument is a 38-item questionnaire in a Likert-type format. Items were generated to measure four conceptualized domains of spirituality. The purpose of this study was to develop, refine, and evaluate the psychometric characteristics of the SS. ^ Psychometric analysis of the SS provided strong evidence of the reliability and validity of the instrument. Principal factor analysis revealed a meaningful 3-factor solution explaining 57% of the variance. Reliability estimates ranged from .81–.94 for the subscales and .94 for the total instrument. Test re-test reliability with a subgroup of 30 participants was .85. Three factors of spirituality supportive of the theoretical framework were identified: Self-Discovery, Relationships, and Eco-Awareness. ^ The SS uniquely contributes to the emerging understanding of spirituality by introducing the subscale of eco-awareness and offers several conceptual, methodological, and pragmatic advantages over other current instruments. These findings can assist in facilitating the inclusion of spirituality in healthcare and have the potential to provide a transforming vision for nursing care and a vehicle to evoking optimal patient outcomes. ^