Resources for Measurements and Tools Used in Nursing Research and Practice


The following lists of databases, directories, print resources, and websites is for informational purposes only. Neither the Honor Society of Nursing, Sigma Theta Tau International (STTI) nor the Virginia Henderson Global Nursing e-Repository (Henderson Repository) sponsors or promotes a particular instrument, database, or website unless expressly noted.

Accessibility of Proprietary Databases and Resources.

STTI and the Henderson Repository do not subscribe to the external resources, databases, or other services listed below. It may be possible to access print resources, proprietary databases and subscription services via your academic or institutional subscriptions. Please check with your academic, subject liaison, or institutional staff librarian to determine your access capabilities.

Availability of Instruments and Tools.

Most instruments, surveys, scales, questionnaires, etc. are not openly available. As a nurse researcher, faculty, student, or practitioner, you may find samples or select portions of instruments in the text of articles and reports, but not the full instrument. Plan to request your desired instrument from the author(s) or publisher(s) (i.e., the copyright holder). Build in the necessary time for this important step. The Henderson Repository will not be able to assist you with this process.

Most of these tests/tools are copyrighted, so you may not be allowed to copy, disseminate, adapt, and/or re-use the tools without express written permission from the author(s) or copyright holder(s). Also note that adaptation of certain tools may render the results invalid. Remember to ask the author/copyright holder if such reuse is possible or advisable.

Requesting Permission for Use/Reuse.

Determining the copyright holder (i.e., author(s) or publisher(s)) of a specific tool and contacting that party is not a simple process. It takes time and perseverance. The Henderson Repository does not assist with this process.

If the author has signed away copyright to a funder or publisher, then that party must be contacted to request permission.

Try the following steps:

  1. Journal articles and repository submissions usually list author contact information on the first page of an article or the item’s entry record.
  2. If the email address listed in the publication is no longer valid, try doing an Internet search. Also try contacting the listed coauthors even if they aren't mentioned as the author contact of record.
  3. Look in directories of scientific and professional associations for contact information.
  4. If you are unable to contact an author, contact the publisher of the original material to request permission.

Henderson Repository Goal.

It is currently difficult to locate complete measurement tools and instruments and then to obtain permission to use and possibly adapt the existing tools. The Henderson Repository has created a Measurement and Tools collection within its Independent Submissions community as a means to gather such materials important to nurses into one convenient location.

Authors or copyright holders may submit their complete measurement tools and instruments to this collection. All submissions go through a single-blind peer-review process according to existing policies for the community. Authors and/or copyright holders retain their rights to each accepted submission and may extend use and adaptability rights to others as they see fit.

It is through this collection that the Henderson Repository hopes to build a comprehensive resource for those who create measurement tools and instruments and those seeking to use and adapt measurement tools and instruments.


(Live links are not provided for these proprietary databases as each subscribing institution will have its own proprietary link for access. This list is for informational purposes only. Please access these databases through your academic or organizational portals, if applicable. Contact your academic/staff librarian with access questions as not all libraries will have subscriptions to every database on this list.)

  • Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL)
  • ETS TestLink
  • Health and Psychosocial Instruments (HaPi)
  • Health Services and Sciences Research Resources (HSSRR)
  • Mental Measurements Yearbook with Tests in Print
  • PubMed
  • PsycINFO
  • PsycTESTS

Database Search Tips:

Try one or more of these tips to improve your searches in the various databases -

  • Select 'Research Instrument,' and/or 'Questionnaire/Scale' under Publication Type in CINAHL.
  • Some databases have 'Instruments,' 'Surveys,' etc. in their filter choices.
  • Select the 'Full Text' option whenever possible.
  • Use keywords such as "questionnaire," "Survey", "Scale", or the name of an instrument you are interested in.

Web Resources:

Print Resources:

  • Directory of Unpublished Experimental Mental Measures
  • Instruments for Clinical Health-Care Research
  • The Instruments of Psychiatric Research
  • Measuring Health: A Guide to Rating Scales and Questionnaires
  • The Mental Measurements Yearbook
  • Tests in Print
  • Thesaurus of Psychological Index Terms