Open Access Highly Accessed Open Badges Research article

Development and psychometric testing of a scale assessing the sharing of medical information and interprofessional communication: the CSI scale

Emmanuelle Anthoine12, Christelle Delmas1, Julie Coutherut3 and Leïla Moret12*

Author Affiliations

1 PHU11, Public Health Department, University Hospital, Saint-Jacques Hospital, 85, rue Saint-Jacques, Nantes Cedex 44093, France

2 EA 4275 SPHERE: bioStatistics, Pharmacoepidemiology and Human Sciences Research team, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Nantes, Rue Gaston Veil, Nantes 44000, France

3 Centre Fédératif Prévention Dépistage, University Hospital, Bâtiment Le Tourville, Nantes Cedex 44093, France

For all author emails, please log on.

BMC Health Services Research 2014, 14:126  doi:10.1186/1472-6963-14-126

Published: 13 March 2014



Interprofessional collaboration is essential in creating a safer patient environment. It includes the need to develop communication and coordination between professionals, implying a better sharing of medical information. Several questionnaires exist in the literature, but none of them have been developed in the French context. The objective was to develop and test the psychometric properties of the communication and sharing information (CSI) scale which assesses specifically interprofessional communication, especially the sharing of medical information and the effectiveness of communication between members of the team.


The questionnaire construction process used a literature review and involved a panel of voluntary professionals. A list of 32 items explored the quality of shared information delivered to patients and the effectiveness of interprofessional communication. The study was conducted in 16 voluntary units in a University Hospital (France), which included medical, surgical, obstetrics, intensive care, pediatrics, oncology and rehabilitation care. The scale-development process comprised an exploratory principal component analysis, Cronbach’s α-coefficients and structural equation modeling (SEM).


From these 16 units, a total of 503 health professionals took part in the study. Among them, 23.9% were physicians (n = 120), 43.9% nurses (n = 221) and 32.2% nurse assistants (n = 162).

The validated questionnaire comprised 13 items and 3 dimensions relative to “the sharing of medical information” (5 items), “communication between physicians” (4 items) and “communication between nurses and nurse assistants” (4 items). The 3 dimensions accounted for 63.7% of the variance of the final questionnaire. Their respective Cronbach’s alpha coefficients were 0.80, 0.87 and 0.81. SEM confirmed the existence of the 3 latent dimensions but the best characteristics were obtained with a hierarchical model including the three latent factors and a global “communication between healthcare professionals” latent factor, bringing the 8 items linked to communication together. All the structural coefficients were highly significant (P < 0.001).


This self-perception CSI scale assessing several facets of interprofessional communication is the first one developed in the French context. The development study exhibited excellent psychometric properties. Further psychometric analysis is needed to establish test-retest reliability, sensibility to change and concurrent validity.

Interprofessional communication; Patient information; Patient safety; Questionnaire; Psychometric properties; Scale validation