Content validity and the language of breathing

Cathy Michaels

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: The study objective was to validate the content validity of natural language words and phrases selected from participant logs as breathing-intensity descriptors. Design and setting: A descriptive design was implemented using data collected in a prior study in which the breathing-intensity descriptors had been identified. Methods: Content validity was used to rate natural language breathing-intensity descriptors. Six seasoned nurses with a minimum of master's preparation served as the expert panel. On the basis of a 4-point (0-3) scale, mean scores were calculated for natural language breathing-intensity descriptors. Content validity was established for mean scores greater than 1.0. Results: A total of 66 (89%) natural language breathing-intensity descriptors were validated. The experts did not validate eight descriptors that described the lower end of breathing intensity. Conclusions: Natural language breathing-intensity descriptors were validated. The highest validation scores were achieved with breathing-intensity descriptors at the upper end of the breathing-intensity spectrum. However, words and phrases that aligned with the lower end of the spectrum generated lower content validity scores. This was an unexpected finding on the full spectrum of breathing intensity that raised questions about differences in language, meaning, and significance between participants and experts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)405-411
Number of pages7
JournalHeart and Lung: Journal of Acute and Critical Care
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2006
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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