Validating a survey instrument
Conclusions: Construct validity, although a time-intensive process, is necessary to ensure accuracy and validity of the survey instrument.Background: Athletic training researchers frequently employ the use of survey research for topics such as clinical instruction and supervision, burnout, and professional development; however, researchers have not always used proper procedures to ensure instrument validity and reliability for the data collection process.Description: Four major methods exist to establish the validity of an instrument: face, content, criterion related, and construct.When developing a survey to measure a previously unexplored construct (eg, an athletic trainer's attitudes toward appropriate exertional heat stroke treatment), researchers should employ a four-step process: (1) defining constructs and content domain, (2) generating and judging measurement items, (3) designing and conducting studies to develop a scale, and (4) finalizing the scale.Clinical Advantages: Establishing the validity of a survey instrument strengthens the data yielded from the data collection process, which allows for greater confidence in the interpretation of the results from the survey.
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Context: Instrument validation is an important facet of survey research methods and athletic trainers must be aware of the important underlying principles.
Objective: To discuss the process of survey development and validation, specifically the process of construct validation.