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Rev Lat Am Enfermagem. 2013 Jan-Feb;21 Spec No:29-37.

The representations of human vulnerability held by health workers--development and validation of a scale.

[Article in English, Portuguese]

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Superior de Enfermagem, Universidade de TrĂ¡s-os-Montes e Alto Douro, Portugal.



This study's objective consisted of the construction and validation of a scale to identify the representation of human vulnerability in the health field.


its development was divided into three steps: a bibliographic review and exploratory interviews were conducted to establish the items and their subsequent aggregation into dimensions; evaluation by an expert committee; and pre-test. The scale's psychometric properties were evaluated based on its application to a sample of individuals (nurses, physicians, and senior nursing and medical undergraduate students). Validity, reliability, and internal consistency tests were performed.


the scale obtained consists of four dimensions (knowledge of intrinsic vulnerability, knowledge of extrinsic vulnerability, experience of vulnerability, and perception of vulnerability in patients). The scale presents good internal consistency with high Cronbach's alpha coefficient values.


The Representation of Human Vulnerability in Health Workers Scale is easy to apply and presents reliable psychometric properties. It is an innovative tool that can be used in the development of studies addressing human vulnerability.

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