Climate of Respect Evaluation in ICUs: Development of an Instrument (ICU-CORE)

Mary Catherine Beach, Rachel Topazian, Kitty S. Chan, Jeremy Sugarman, Gail Geller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Objectives: To develop a valid, reliable measure that reflected the environment of respectfulness within the ICU setting. Design: We developed a preliminary survey instrument based on conceptual domains of respect identified through prior qualitative analyses of ICU patient, family member, and clinician perspectives. The initial instrument consisted of 21 items. After five cognitive interviews and 16 pilot surveys, we revised the instrument to include 23 items. We used standard psychometric methods to analyze the instrument. Settings: Eight ICUs serving adult patients affiliated with a large university health system. Subjects: ICU clinicians. Interventions: None. Measurements and Main Results: Based on 249 responses, we identified three factors and created subscales: General Respect, Respectful Behaviors, and Disrespectful Behaviors. The General Respect subscale had seven items (α = 0.932) and reflected how often patients in the ICU are treated with respect, in a dignified manner, as an individual, equally to all other patients, on the “same level” as the ICU team, as a person, and as you yourself would want to be treated. The Respectful Behaviors subscale had 10 items (α = 0.926) and reflected how often the ICU team responds to patient and/or family anxiety, makes an effort to get to know the patient and family as people, listens carefully, explains things thoroughly, gives the opportunity to provide input into care, protects patient modesty, greets when entering room, and talks to sedated patients. The subscale measuring disrespect has four items (α = 0.702) and reflects how often the ICU team dismisses family concerns, talks down to patients and families, speaks disrespectfully behind their backs, and gets frustrated with patients and families. Conclusions: We created a reliable set of scales to measure the climate of respectfulness in intensive care settings. These measures can be used for ongoing quality improvement that aim to enhance the experience of ICU patients and their families.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E502-E507
JournalCritical care medicine
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2018


  • ethics
  • intensive care unit
  • measurement
  • patientcenteredness
  • respect

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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