Developing a measure for health professionals’ attitudes toward veterans

Sarah Knopf-Amelung, Margaret Brommelsiek, Jane Anthony Peterson, Zack Roman, Tracy Lynn Graybill


U.S. veterans have complex healthcare needs that require professionals who are properly trained to address these issues. However, little is known about the attitudes that nurses and other professionals have toward veteran patients, particularly those working in community-based settings where it is unlikely training on veterans’ issues has occurred. Understanding health professionals’ attitudes toward caring for veterans is an important step in developing a workforce that is knowledgeable and willing to serve this complex and growing population. The purpose of this study was to develop and validate the Health Professionals’ Attitudes Toward Veterans (HPATV) scale, which explores attitudes regarding military cultural sensitivity and awareness, provision of care to veteran patients, and the prominent veterans’ health issues. The HPATV was developed across several phases, including review of existing measures and literature regarding veterans’ health and attitude structure, hypothesis of a factor structure, identification of a theoretical framework for attitude construction, item generation, 3-round Delphi survey to refine items and test content validity, piloting the measure among health professions students, and exploratory (EFA) and confirmatory factor analysis (CFA). Following CFA, the final 14-item scale revealed 3 latent factors to describe health professionals’ more nuanced attitudes toward working with veteran patients: culture, care, and health. The HPATV is a validated and readily available tool for needs assessment, quality improvement, and evaluation. Use of this tool will help increase understanding of these culture, care, and health domains and generate quality improvement initiatives based on them—ultimately benefiting veteran patients through more sensitive, patient-centered care.

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Journal of Nursing Education and Practice

ISSN 1925-4040 (Print)   ISSN 1925-4059 (Online)

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