Making Sense of Factor Analysis: The Use of Factor Analysis for Instrument Development in Health Care Research

Front Cover
Many health care practitioners and researchers are aware of the need to employ factor analysis in order to develop more sensitive instruments for data collection. Unfortunately, factor analysis is not a unidimensional approach that is easily understood by even the most experienced of researchers.

Making Sense of Factor Analysis: The Use of Factor Analysis for Instrument Development in Health Care Research presents a straightforward explanation of the complex statistical procedures involved in factor analysis. Authors Marjorie A Pett, Nancy M Lackey, and John J Sullivan provide a step-by-step approach to analyzing data using statistical computer packages like SPSS and SAS. Emphasizing the interrelationship between factor analysis and test construction, the authors examine numerous practical and theoretical decisions that must be made to efficiently run and accurately interpret the outcomes of these sophisticated computer programs.

Making Sense of Factor Analysis: The Use of Factor Analysis for Instrument Development in Health Care Research offers a practical method for developing tests, validating instruments and reporting outcomes through the use of factor analysis. To facilitate learning, the authors provide concrete testing examples, three appendices of additional information, and a glossary of key terms. Ideal for graduate level nursing students, this book is also an invaluable resource for health care researchers.

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About the author (2003)

Marjorie A. Pett, MStat, DSW, is a Research Professor in the College of Nursing at the University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah, having been on the faculty since 1980. By her own admission, she is a “collector” of academic degrees: BA (Brown University), MS in sociology (University of Stockholm, Sweden), MSW (Smith College), DSW (University of Utah), and MStat (Biostatistics) (University of Utah).

Dr. Pett has a strong commitment to facilitating the practical application of statistics in the social, behavioral, and biological sciences, especially among practitioners in health care settings. She has designed and taught graduate courses to students from a variety of disciplines at the beginning and advanced levels, including research design and data management, parametric and nonparametric statistics, biostatistics, multivariate statistics, instrument development, and factor analysis. She has tried to approach the teaching of statistics with humor and from a clinician’s perspective and has been the recipient of several distinguished teaching awards both at the College and University levels.

Her most recent research interests include the development of client-centered assessment tools and interventions to evaluate and enhance health-related quality of life (HRQoL) for persons with intellectual disabilities. She is the author of numerous research articles and chapters, and is an author of the Sage publication, Making Sense of Factor Analysis: The Use of Factor Analysis for Instrument Development in Health Care Research.

When not engaged in research, writing, or teaching, Marge is a (now retired) state soccer referee, devotee of tennis, an avid (high handicap) golfer, student of Italian and French, reader of mystery novels, grandmother to three, mother to two, and wife to (only) one.

Dr John Sullivan has been a professor of management for over 26 years at San Francisco State University. His specialty is HR strategy and designing world class HR systems and tools for Fortune 200 firms. He has worked with over 200 different businesses and organizations in more than 30 countries around the world as a speaker or advisor. He has written a weekly column for ERE for over eleven years. Overall, he has written ten books, dozens of white papers and over 700 articles. He was the chief talent officer for Agilent (the 40,000+ employee HP spin off). He has appeared on the CBS and ABC national nightly news, CNN and in various publications including Fortune, the Economist, CIO, BusinessWeek, the WSJ, the Washington Post, Money, Time and every major HR magazine. Fast company called him the Michael Jordan of hiring. He was listed among the 40 most influential people in HR. Tom Peters cites and utilizes his work in his latest book Re-Imagine.

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