Ms Ong Yu Han

Ms Ong Yu Han

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


Yu Han’s research interests are leadership in healthcare teams and collaborative healthcare practices, with a focus on complexity in shared leadership and team dynamics in interprofessional teams. In 2014, she developed and validated a shared leadership scale that assesses the level of shared leadership in interprofessional teams in non-acute settings. This contribution to research on team communication in clinical settings is recognised regionally and internationally. Her other current research work includes team communication for collaborative decision making and evaluation of residency communication courses where she uses a range of methods in her research, from survey design to interviews and focus groups to draw out the various aspects of communication and learning in clinical contexts.

Before joining HOMER, Yu Han received her Master of Arts in Mathematics Education from the King’s College London in the United Kingdom, where she was awarded an International Postgraduate Taught Scholarship.