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Measurement Tools/Research Instruments

Tips on how to find information about research instruments such as questionnaires.


As the ICU supervisor, you have been asked to do a study to measure burnout in your department’s hard-working nursing staff.

What tests are available to measure burnout in nursing staff?

Preliminary Questions

  • What is your purpose for testing?
  • What population are you testing?
  • Do you know what you want to measure?
  • Do you have any test selection criteria?
  • Does the test meet its intended purposes?

Identify Variable to Measure

Define what you want to measure:

  • What terms describe the variable?
  • Is it measurable?
  • Is it too broad or too narrow?
  • Consider all possible related terms
    Example: burnout, job satisfaction, occupational stress

Locate sources of measurement information

  • Measurement handbooks
  • Dictionaries and thesauri

Set Up Test Selection Criteria

Read some guidelines:

Setup your selection criteria:

  • Does it measure what you want it to measure?
  • How are you planning to use it?
  • Is it appropriate for your subjects?
  • Is it available? Is there a cost? Is it copyrighted?
  • How often has it been used or cited?
  • Has it been reviewed?
  • Have you seen a sample?
  • Other characteristics: purpose, age or grade level, format, length of time, language, statistical validity & reliability, administration, scoring services, etc.

Browse Test Sources

  • There are a number of online and print sources for locating tests.
  • Some are in standard test sources and others in the research literature.
  • Some are full-text while others are citation only.
  • When searching sources apply standard or alternative terms in the search box and use special search fields.
  • Use your test criteria above to make your selection.
  • Also look at standard test reviews to insure appropriate use and coverage.


Detailed Description | Search Tips
Cumulative Index to Nursing & Allied Health Literature.

Educational Resources Information Center (ERIC)

Detailed Description | Search Tips
Database covering education journals, reports, proceedings, and curriculum materials.

ETS Test Collection  (Test Link)

Detailed Description | Search Tips
A database of descriptive information for over 25,000 tests from varying fields with an emphasis on education; includes Tests in Microfiche.


Detailed Description | Search Tips
Database indexing the literature of psychology.


Detailed Description | Search Tips
Database focused on information regarding psychological tests.


Detailed Description | Search Tips
Database of the biomedical literature.

Sociological Abstracts

Detailed Description | Search Tips
Database of sociological literature including social policy, planning, and development

UW Catalog

Detailed Description | Search Tips
Cumulative holdings of the University of Washington Libraries.