Design and validation of a questionnaire to assess organizational culture in French hospital wards

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Background: Although many organizational culture questionnaires have been developed, there is a lack of any validated multidimensional questionnaire assessing organizational culture at hospital ward level and adapted to health care context. Facing the lack of an appropriate tool, a multidisciplinary team designed and validated a dimensional organizational culture questionnaire for healthcare settings to be administered at ward level. Methods: A database of organizational culture items and themes was created after extensive literature review. Items were regrouped into dimensions and subdimensions (classification validated by experts). Pre-test and face validation was conducted with 15 health care professionals. In a stratified cluster random sample of hospitals, the psychometric validation was conducted in three phases on a sample of 859 healthcare professionals from 36 multidisciplinary medicine services: 1) the exploratory phase included a description of responses' saturation levels, factor and correlations analyses and an internal consistency analysis (Cronbach's alpha coefficient); 2) confirmatory phase used the Structural Equation Modeling (SEM); 3) reproducibility was studied by a test-retest. Results: The overall response rate was 80 %; the completion average was 97 %. The metrological results were: a global Cronbach's alpha coefficient of 0.93, higher than 0.70 for 12 sub-dimensions; all Dillon-Goldstein's rho coefficients higher than 0.70; an excellent quality of external model with a Goodness of Fitness (GoF) criterion of 0.99. Seventy percent of the items had a reproducibility ranging from moderate (Intra-Class Coefficient between 50 and 70 % for 25 items) to good (ICC higher than 70 % for 33 items). Conclusions: COMEt (Contexte Organisationnel et Managérial en Etablissement de Santé) questionnaire is a validated multidimensional organizational culture questionnaire made of 6 dimensions, 21 sub-dimensions and 83 items. It is the first dimensional organizational culture questionnaire, specific to healthcare context, for a unit level assessment showing robust psychometric properties (validity and reliability). This tool is suited for research purposes, especially for assessing organizational context in research analysing the effectiveness of hospital quality improvement strategies. Our tool is also suited for an overall assessment of ward culture and could be a powerful trigger to improve management and clinical performance. Its psychometric properties in other health systems need to be tested.




Saillour-Glénisson, F., Domecq, S., Kret, M., Sibe, M., Dumond, J. P., & Michel, P. (2016). Design and validation of a questionnaire to assess organizational culture in French hospital wards. BMC Health Services Research, 16(1).

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