Open Access Research article

The Arabic version of the hospital survey on patient safety culture: a psychometric evaluation in a Palestinian sample

Shahenaz Najjar1*, Motasem Hamdan2, Elfi Baillien34, Arthur Vleugels1, Martin Euwema4, Walter Sermeus1, Luk Bruyneel1 and Kris Vanhaecht1

Author Affiliations

1 Health Services Research Group, School of Public Health KU Leuven, Leuven, Belgium

2 Faculty of public health, Al-Quds University, Jerusalem, Palestine

3 Human Relations Research Group, HU Brussel, Brussels, Belgium

4 Research Group Work, Organizational and Personnel Psychology KU Leuven, Leuven, Belgium

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BMC Health Services Research 2013, 13:193  doi:10.1186/1472-6963-13-193

Published: 24 May 2013



A growing global interest in patient safety culture has increased the development of validated instruments to asses this phenomenon. The aim of this study is to investigate the psychometric properties of the Hospital Survey on Patient Safety Culture (HSOPSC) and its appropriateness for Arab hospitals.


The 7-step guideline of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality was used to translate and validate the HSOPSC. A panel of experts evaluated the face and content validity indexing of the Arabic version. Data were collected from 13 Palestinian hospitals including 2022 healthcare professionals who had direct or indirect interaction with patients, hospital supervisors, managers and administrators. Descriptive statistics and psychometric evaluation (a split-half validation technique) were then used to test and strengthen the validity and reliability of the instrument.


With respect to face and content validity, the CVI analysis showed excellent results for the Arab context (CVI = 0.96). As to construct validity, the 12 original dimensions could not be applied to the Palestinian data. Furthermore, three of the 12 original dimensions were not reliable (α <0.6). The split-half technique resulted in an optimal 11-factor model.


Our study is the first study in the Arab world to provide an evaluation of the HSOPSC using Arabic data from Palestine. The Arabic translation of the HSOPSC comprises an 11-factor structure showing good validity and acceptable reliability. Despite the similarity between the Arab factor structure of the HSOPSC and that of the original one, and taking into account that our version may be applied in Arabic hospitals, there is a need for caution in comparing HSOPSC data between countries.