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A Psychometric Analysis of the Spiritual Needs Inventory in Informal Caregivers of Patients With Cancer in Hospice Home Care

Harleah G. Buck

Susan C. McMillan

family caregivers, holistic care, hospice care
ONF 2012, 39(4), E332-E339. DOI: 10.1188/12.ONF.E332-E339

Purpose/Objectives: To test the validity and reliability of the Spiritual Needs Inventory (SNI) in measuring the spiritual needs of informal caregivers of patients with cancer in hospice home care.

Design: A subanalysis of a longitudinal, randomized hospice clinical trial.

Setting: Two hospices in the southwestern United States.

Sample: 410 informal caregivers of patients with cancer in hospice home care.

Methods: To test the hypotheses, Pearson and Spearman correlations, principal factor analysis with oblique rotation, and coefficient alpha were conducted.

Main Research Variables: Spiritual needs, depression, social support.

Findings: The SNI showed a small but significant positive correlation with the social support (p = 0.003). A three-factor solution of the SNI accounted for about 55% of the variability. The first factor captured a traditional religious measure, with the original patient-reported subscales of inspiration, spiritual activities, and religion collapsing into this one factor. The second and third factors were similar to the original patient study. Cronbach alpha for the total scale was 0.88. The factor alphas ranged from 0.68-0.89.

Conclusions: The current study provides early evidence for the validity and reliability of the SNI in informal caregivers of patients with cancer in hospice home care. Additional testing in other populations is recommended.

Implications for Nursing: Use of the SNI with hospice caregivers could aid nurses in the identification of spiritual needs, enabling the development of plans of individualized, high-quality care.

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