Advancing nursing science in vulnerable populations: measurement issues. Article

Strickland, OL, DiIorio, C, Coverson, D et al. (2007). Advancing nursing science in vulnerable populations: measurement issues. . 25 27-48. 10.1891/0739-6686.25.1.27

cited authors

  • Strickland, OL; DiIorio, C; Coverson, D; Nelson, M



  • This study examined measurement practices of researchers in relation to vulnerable population research published in four general nursing research journals in 2004. The purpose was to identify issues and imperatives in the measurement of research variables with vulnerable populations that warrant attention. A total of 133 articles were eligible for inclusion in the study, and 428 measurement instruments were used in the studies. A content analysis of the 133 eligible articles indicated that most samples included to a greater extent more Whites than predominantly minority populations, and more adults than children. Most of the articles did not specify socioeconomic status of samples. Of the 133 eligible articles, 83 (62.4%) included samples that were comprised of a majority of racial and ethnic minorities; however, percentages of studies that focused predominately on a specific minority group were below 10% in more than 80% of studies. Major findings related to measurement practices indicated inadequate specification of the measurement framework employed; lack of adequate specification of the conceptual base of measurement tools; and, a heavy reliance on the use of self-report data, attitudinal and perceptual measures, and the use of questionnaires and rating scales. There was also inadequate attention to the metric qualities of laboratory physiological measures, and to reliability and validity in general. It was concluded that inadequate attention is given to measurement practices by researchers when studying vulnerable populations.

publication date

  • January 1, 2007

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

start page

  • 27

end page

  • 48


  • 25