Nurses attitudes toward alcoholism: factor analysis of three commonly used scales.
Sandra Pillon – Research Nurse, Gastroenterology Unit.
Ronaldo Laranjeira – Coordinator – UNIAD – Unidade de Pesquisa em Álcool e Drogas.
John Dunn – Senior Researcher. – UNIAD – Unidade de Pesquisa em Álcool e Drogas.
In the last twenty years several scales have been developed to evaluate health care professionals’ attitudes toward and beliefs about alcoholism. The three most commonly used scales are: The Marcus Alcoholism Questionnaire1, The Seaman Mannello Nurses’ Attitudes Toward Alcohol and Alcoholism Scale2 and The Tolor-Tamerin Attitude Toward Alcoholism Scale3. These three instruments have certain similarities, in particular they contain items that cover various beliefs and perceptions about alcoholism and its causes, for example, moral factors (e.g. alcoholism as a character weakness), psychological factors (e.g., alcoholics having unresolved psychological conflicts), social factors (e.g., alcoholism caused by unhappy marriages) and biological factors (e.g., alcoholism as an disease).
The Marcus questionnaire was designed to measure both knowledge about alcoholism and attitudes toward alcoholics and consists of 40 statements which are responded to on a Likert scale that ranges from 1 (completely disagree) to 7 (completely agree). Ferneau4 used the questionnaire to examine the attitudes of nurses and nursing assistants in a neuropsychiatric hospital, whilst Allen5 used it to assess state registered nurses’ attitudes toward alcoholic patients in a general hospital.
The Tolor 3 Instrument is a 24 item scale that was developed with the aim of investigating six attitudinal categories: psychological etiology, physical-genetic etiology, moral weakness, medical illness model, humanism and social rejection. It too is scored on a Likert scale with extreme scores of 1 and 4 (strong disagreement and strong agreement, respectively). Sullivan6 used this scale to assess state registered nurses’ beliefs about the etiology and treatment of alcohol abuse and related these to the subjects’ biographical and professional characteristics.