Single-item graphic representational scales

Academic Article


  • Background: Single-item measures of constructs are parsimonious alternatives to multiple-item measures in many types of research. Before selecting a particular instrument, researchers must first determine whether to use a multi-item or single-item instrument to measure the concept to be evaluated. Currently, single-item measures are widely used for both pain and job satisfaction research. Objective: To review theoretical and empirical studies of single-item measures, with an emphasis on graphic representational (faces) scales. Methods: In this review, theoretical considerations, reliability, validity issues, and comparisons between single- and multiple-item measures are discussed. Faces scales are emphasized as an economical method for assessing such affective responses as pain and job satisfaction. Results: Single-item measures in general, and faces scales in particular, can be valid and reliable measures for global concepts. Conclusions: Because of their ease of administration, lessened respondent burden, rc; and global concept representation, single-item measures have great potential for various types of research. Nurse researchers should seriously consider single-item measures as part of their methodological research "toolkit.".
  • Published In

  • Nursing Research  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Pubmed Id

  • 26512712
  • Author List

  • Patrician PA
  • Start Page

  • 347
  • End Page

  • 352
  • Volume

  • 53
  • Issue

  • 5