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Reliability and validity in a nutshell

Bannigan, K. and Watson, R. (2009) Reliability and validity in a nutshell. Journal Of Clinical Nursing, 18 (23). pp. 3237-3243. ISSN 0962-1067

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To explore and explain the different concepts of reliability and validity as they are related to measurement instruments in social science and health care.


There are different concepts contained in the terms reliability and validity and these are often explained poorly and there is often confusion between them.


To develop some clarity about reliability and validity a conceptual framework was built based on the existing literature.


The concepts of reliability, validity and utility are explored and explained.


Reliability contains the concepts of internal consistency and stability and equivalence. Validity contains the concepts of content, face, criterion, concurrent, predictive, construct, convergent (and divergent), factorial and discriminant. In addition, for clinical practice and research, it is essential to establish the utility of a measurement instrument.

Relevance to clinical practice:

To use measurement instruments appropriately in clinical practice, the extent to which they are reliable, valid and usable must be established.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: nursing; questionnaires; reliability; stability; utility; validity
Institution: The University of Sheffield
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health (Sheffield) > School of Nursing and Midwifery (Sheffield)
Depositing User: Miss Anthea Tucker
Date Deposited: 19 Feb 2010 12:57
Last Modified: 01 Mar 2010 16:01
Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2702.2009.02939.x
Status: Published
Publisher: Blackwell Publishing
Identification Number: 10.1111/j.1365-2702.2009.02939.x
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/10382

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