Ms Ong Sik Yin

Ms Ong Sik Yin

Research Analyst
Health Outcomes & Medical Education Research (HOMER),
Education Development Office
National Healthcare Group (NHG)



Best Practices In Scale Development And Validation
Date: 22 September 2017, Friday
Time: 10.45am – 5pm
Synopsis: Scales are instruments used to measure health status, attitudes, perceptions and emotions. Some of the common scales used in family medicine and primary care setting are: Medical Interview Satisfaction Scale, Maslach Burnout Inventory, Patient Reported Experiences and Outcomes of Safety in Primary Care (PREOS-PC). The process of developing and validating scales involves three stages: conceptualizing, operationalizing and evaluating. While these three stages are also present in the development and validation of assessment tools, there are distinct differences between the two processes. Understanding the details and differences of the process of developing and validating scales will allow for better appreciation of the usefulness and relevance of scales in family medicine and primary care.

At the end of the workshop, participants should acquire basic knowledge in:
1. Thinking and defining what to measure (Conceptualization)
2. Writing and adapting items and questions (Operationalization)
3. Testing the validity of the items and questions (Evaluation)

Participants will be able to understand and interpret research findings on scale development, design simple scales and adapt existing scales using the best practices shared during the workshop.


1.1 Introduction to scale development
– What are scales?
– When do we use scales? (with examples)
1.2 Conceptualizing what to measure
– What are different ways to conceptualize and define what we are measuring?
1.3 Operationalizing what we want to measure
– How to write and adapt items?
– How to spot problematic items?
2.1 Putting your items together into a scale
– What are the considerations when putting items into a scale?
– What are different modes of administration?
2.2 Pre-testing scales
– What can we test before we administer our scales?
– How can we test them?
3.1 Evaluating scales
– How to test the validity of scale items?
– What is factor analysis?
3.2 Concluding discussion


Sik Yin is passionate about enhancing quality of patient care through improving the process and outcomes of health care professionals’ training. Her dual portfolio as researcher and clinician places her in a unique position to realise this commitment. Sik Yin recognises and values the complementarity between different research approaches to gain a better understanding of some of the challenging issues in the complex healthcare environment. Her educational research interests relate to professionalism of healthcare professionals and interprofessional collaborative practices. She has studied educators’ attitudes towards interprofessional education (IPE) and collaborative practice (IPCP) using adapted IPE and IPCP instruments.

She is also a senior clinical dietitian with Tan Tock Seng Hospital. She holds a Bachelor Degree in Applied Science from the National University of Singapore and a Master’s degree in Nutrition and Dietetics from the Flinders University of South Australia.