Development of an instrument to measure seniors' patient safety health beliefs: The Seniors Empowerment and Advocacy in Patient Safety (SEAPS) survey

Nancy C. Elder, Saundra L. Regan, Harini Pallerla, Linda Levin, Douglas Post, Donald J. Cegela

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Objective: To develop a survey to measure seniors' embracement of ambulatory patient safety self-advocacy behaviors, the Senior Empowerment and Advocacy in Patient Safety (SEAPS) survey. Methods: Content was developed by review of published recommendations combined with interviews and focus groups with community members; items were generated for subscales based on the health belief model (HBM). Psychometric characteristics were assessed by cluster and correlation analyses on a pilot test of 143 community dwelling seniors; the ability of the subscales and demographic variables to predict reported behavior was investigated by multiple regression. Results: The four subscales of the SEAPS were outcome efficacy (OE), attitudes (ATT), self-efficacy (SE) and behaviors (BEH). Cronbach alphas were 0.74 for ATT, 0.79 for BEH, and 0.91 for OE and SE. Analysis of variance showed that there were no differences in any subscale score by race, education level or frequency of doctor visits, but women were noted to have significantly higher scores (p < .01) on the ATT and SE subscales and for the total of all the scales. Multiple regressions showed that SE significantly predicted self-reported behavior (p < .001). OE was a significant predictor for whites (p < .001) but not for African-Americans (p = .24). Conclusions: We have developed a short, 21-item self-administered survey to assess seniors' views about their participation in safety tasks. Practice implications: We believe the SEAPS shows promise to be a tool for evaluating interventions and training programs aimed at improving seniors' self-advocacy skills. Effective interventions may improve the involvement of patients in their own safety in the clinical setting.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)100-107
Number of pages8
JournalPatient Education and Counseling
Issue number1-3
StatePublished - Dec 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Ambulatory care
  • Health belief
  • Patient communication
  • Patient safety

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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