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Is the Community Attitudes towards the Mentally Ill scale valid for use in the investigation of European nurses' attitudes towards the mentally ill? A confirmatory factor analytic approach

Roisin Morris, Philomena Anne Scott, Angela Cocoman, Mary Chambers, Veslemøy Guise, Maritta Välimäki, Gerard Clinton
Journal of Advanced Nursing 2012, 68 (2): 460-70
21679227

AIM: This study aimed to assess the construct validity of the Community Attitudes towards the Mentally Ill scale in the investigation of European nurses' attitudes towards mental illness and mental health patients.

BACKGROUND: The harbouring of negative attitudes by nurses towards any patient can have implications for recovery. To gather robust evidence upon which to base information and education aimed at fostering acceptance, support and general positivity towards people with mental health illness, a valid and reliable system of data collection is required.

METHOD: A confirmatory factor analysis of both the original Community Attitudes towards the Mentally Ill scale and two modified versions of the scale were carried out during May - June 2007 using a data set representing the responses of 858 European nurses to the scale. Data were subjected to three different confirmatory factor analyses using Maximum Likelihood estimation in the software package, Analysis of Moment Structures 7. A number of absolute, relative and incremental fit statistics were used to assess the fit of the original Community Attitudes towards the Mentally Ill scale and two modified versions to the European nursing data.

FINDINGS: A modification of the scale was found to be most suitable for use in the investigation of European nurses' attitudes towards mental illness and people with mental illness.

CONCLUSION: Further research is recommended to develop a valid and reliable research tool to specifically measure the attitudes of 'nurses' working across different mental healthcare facilities towards this vulnerable patient group.

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