Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

Reliability and validity in a nutshell

Bannigan, Katrina; Watson, Roger


Katrina Bannigan


Aims. To explore and explain the different concepts of reliability and validity as they are related to measurement instruments in social science and health care. Background. There are different concepts contained in the terms reliability and validity and these are often explained poorly and there is often confusion between them. Design. To develop some clarity about reliability and validity a conceptual framework was built based on the existing literature. Results. The concepts of reliability, validity and utility are explored and explained. Conclusions. Reliability contains the concepts of internal consistency and stability and equivalence. Validity contains the concepts of content, face, criterion, concurrent, predictive, construct, convergent (and divergent), factorial and discriminant. In addition, for clinical practice and research, it is essential to establish the utility of a measurement instrument. Relevance to clinical practice. To use measurement instruments appropriately in clinical practice, the extent to which they are reliable, valid and usable must be established. © 2009 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.


Bannigan, K., & Watson, R. (2009). Reliability and validity in a nutshell. Journal of clinical nursing, 18(23), 3237-3243.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jun 22, 2009
Online Publication Date Nov 10, 2009
Publication Date 2009-12
Print ISSN 0962-1067
Electronic ISSN 1365-2702
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 18
Issue 23
Pages 3237-3243
Keywords Nursing; Questionnaires; Reliability; Stability; Utility; Validity
Public URL
Publisher URL