Development and Psychometric Testing of the Relational Care Scale Journal Articles uri icon

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  • The purpose of this article is to report the development and testing of the self-report Relational Care Scale (RCS). The RCS was specifically designed to evaluate the relational care that nursing staff provides to residents living in nursing homes. The scale’s content validity was assessed with the assistance of experts and related research in the area of nurse-resident interactions, and then the scale was pilot tested with 30 residents of a long-term care (LTC) facility to determine its clarity and stability. The 6-item scale was then administered to a sample of 50 residents in an intervention study and then to 72 residents in a correlational study in two other LTC facilities in Ontario, Canada. Construct validity was demonstrated with positive correlations between RCS scores and a Relationship VAS measure (r= .63,p< .0001) and between RCS scores and an observational Relational Behavior Scale (r= .42,p< .001), which was also developed to assess relational care. Study results demonstrated that the RCS is a reliable and valid instrument that may be used to measure relational care to test interventions focusing on enhancing the relational care staff provides to residents.


  • McGilton, Katherine S
  • Pringle, Dorothy M
  • O’Brien-Pallas, Linda L
  • Wynn, Francine
  • Streiner, David Lloyd

publication date

  • January 2005