Adaption of the Cancer Information Overload Scale for pandemics and assessment of infodemic levels among nurses and midwives

Publication Name

International Journal of Nursing Practice


Aim: This study was conducted in three phases. Phase 1 aimed to adapt the Cancer Information Overload Scale and conduct content validity testing. Phase 2 aimed to conduct factorial validity testing of the scale. Phase 3 aimed to assess information overload and the sources of information used by nurses and midwives to keep up-to-date about COVID-19. Design: A cross-sectional survey of nurses and midwives working in a metropolitan Local Health District in Sydney, Australia, was conducted from May to June 2020. Methods: Adaptation of the Cancer Information Overload Scale and content validity of the modified scale (as the Pandemic Information Overload Scale) was undertaken by an expert panel comprising of senior nurses and researchers. Factorial validity and reliability of the Pandemic Information Overload Scale were evaluated using exploratory factor analyses using one subsample of the data. Using the second subsample of the data, information overload and sources of information used by nurses and midwives to keep up-to-date about COVID-19 were examined. Results: The Pandemic Information Overload Scale is a reliable and valid instrument for measuring information overload among nurses during a pandemic. Its internal consistency was high (α = 0.81, M = 3.84). Conclusion: The 8-item PIO scale is a brief, reliable and psychometrically sound instrument for measuring nurses' and midwives' perceptions of information overload during COVID-19. Mean scores across this study indicated that participants were experiencing above average information overload. Implementing strategies to reduce this overload would optimize clinical decision making and promote patient safety.

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