J Nurs Manag. 2018;26:127–139. wileyonlinelibrary.com/journal/jonm
© 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd
Accepted: 25 May 2017
Measuring health care workers’ perceptions of what
constitutes a compassionate organisation culture
and working environment: Findings from a quantitative
Robert McSherry PhD, RGN, DipN (Lon), B.Sc. (Hons), MSc, PGCE, RT, FHEC, FFNRRCSI, NTF,
Professor of Nursing and Practice Development
| Paddy Pearce RGN, B.Sc. (Hons), MSc,
Independent Healthcare Governance Consultant
School of Health and Social Care, Teesside
University, Middlesbrough, UK
Yarm, Stockton-On-Tees, UK
Robert McSherry, School of Health and Social
Care, University of Teesside, Middlesbrough,
Teesside University; National Health Service
Introduction: Health care organisation cultures and working environments are highly
complex, dynamic and constantly evolving settings. They significantly influence both
the delivery and outcomes of care.
Aim: Phase 1 quantitative findings are presented from a larger three phase feasibility study
designed to develop and test a Cultural Health Check toolkit to support health care work-
ers, patients and organisations in the provision of safe, compassionate and dignified care.
Methodology: A mixed methods approach was applied. The Cultural Health Check
Healthcare Workers Questionnaire was distributed across two National Health Service
Hospitals in England, UK. Both hospitals allocated two wards comprising of older people
and surgical specialities.
Findings: The newly devised Cultural Health Check Staff Rating Scale Version 1 question-
naire was distributed to 223 health care workers. Ninety eight responses were returned giv-
ing a response rate of 44%. The Cultural Health Check Staff Rating Scale Version 1 has a
significant Cronbach alpha of .775; this reliability scaling is reflected in all 16 items in the
scale. Exploratory factor analysis identified two significant factors “Professional Practice and
Support” and “Workforce and Service Delivery.” These factors according to health care work-
ers significantly impact on the organisation culture and quality of care delivered by staff.
Conclusion: The Cultural Health Check Staff Rating Scale Version 1 questionnaire is a
newly validated measurement tool that could be used and applied to gauge health
care workers perceptions of an organisations level of compassion. Historically we
have focused on identifying how caring and compassionate nurses, doctors and re-
lated allied health professionals are. This turns the attention on employers of nurses
and other related organisations.
Implications for nursing management: The questionnaire can be used to gauge the
level of compassion with a health care organisation culture and working environment.
Nurse managers and leaders should focus attention regarding how these two factors
are supported and resourced in the future.
compassion, culture, health care, organisation, quality, working environment