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Guide for library resources in the Nursing field

Introduction to Tests & Measures

Many health professionals use a variety of measurement and assessment tools in their work and research.  These tests and measures include surveys, scales, assessments, diagnostic tools, and other instruments used to assess or evaluate a variety of attributes.

Published (commercial) tests and measures must typically be purchased directly from a publisher or commercial vendor.  In many cases you must qualify as an administrator of the test before your purchase will be approved.
Unpublished (non-commercial) tests and measures are not published and sold by a publisher or company.  In some cases, these unpublished measures will appear in journal articles and books (many times in the appendices of these materials).

Keep in mind that finding the full text of a specific test or measure can be a complicated process.  In some cases, you may simply find the full text of a test or measure in a journal article, book, or one of our databases listed below.  In other cases, you may only find reference to a test, or a sample of a measurement tool.  In these cases, you may have to purchase the tool, or contact the author to see if you can obtain a copy. If you need direct assistance when searching for a tool, please contact your Health Sciences Librarians.

Uses & Permissions

Any sort of test and measure should be administered ethically and as the creators of the assessment intended.  

  • Ensure that the test or measure you want to use is appropriate to the project or research you are planning to conduct.
  • Published Tests generally must be used in strict accordance with guidelines and requirements set forth by the publisher. In many cases, you will need to obtain appropriate certification.
  • Always obtain permission from the creators and/or copyright holders before administering a test.
  • Obtain IRB approval if necessary.

Further reading related to assessment literacy and administering measures can be found at the Buros Center for Testing.

Some content adapted with permission from here.


Databases of Test Information

Mental Measurements Yearbook
Contains descriptive information and critical reviews of commercially published tests. The database includes all information published after the 10th edition (1989) of the Mental Measurements Yearbook. Database also searches Tests in Print.
Tests in Print
Comprehensive bibliography of all known commercially available tests that are currently in print in the English language. TIP provides vital information to users including test purpose, test publisher, in-print status, price, test acronym, intended test population, administration times, publication date(s), and test author(s). A score index permits users to identify what is being measured by each test. Tests in Print is directly linked to the test reviews published in Mental Measurements Yearbook. Database also searches Mental Measurements Yearbook.
PsycTESTS is a research database that provides access to psychological tests, measures, scales, and other assessments as well as descriptive and administrative information. The key feature in this database is that the actual tests themselves are often included. This is a good introduction to what you can find in PsycTests: Getting Started with APA PsycTests

HaPI - Health and Psychosocial Instruments

HaPI identifies tests and measures that have been discussed in journal articles and other sources. The majority of these are not for sale by commercial publishers. Instead, HaPI includes journal citations which may give you leads to locating the instrument itself. In some cases the test itself is included in the journal article. In other cases, only sample questions are included. Sometimes it will be necessary to contact the author of the test. Limit your search to the source code "primary source" for the best chance of finding an article that includes the actual test, although that is still not a guarantee. 
Search your keywords in the PsycInfo database, adding the words "validity" or "reliability" or both. This will find articles that describe the validity or reliability of measurement instruments on your topic. For example: anxiety and children and validity and reliability. NOTE: You can also search for keywords and then use the word "appended" in the "tests and measures" field to find articles that include the actual instrument. Just be aware that you may not find very many appended measures.
ETS Test Link
The Test Collection at ETS (Educational Testing Service) is a library of more than 25,000 tests and other measurement devices that makes information on standardized tests and research instruments available to researchers, graduate students, and teachers. Collected from the early 1900s to the present, the Test Collection at ETS is the largest such compilation in the world.
Dissertations and Theses
This is not actually a test database, but it can be useful in the search for appropriate research instruments. The database contains full text of dissertations accepted for doctoral degrees by accredited North American educational institutions and over 200 other institutions. Also contains some masters' theses, although many fewer. If a doctoral student developed an instrument to use in their dissertation research, this will probably give you access. It's often very helpful to see how others approached their graduate research and the instruments they used.
Social-Personality Psychology Questionnaire Instrument Compendium (QIC)
Limited coverage, but links only to pages where the full instrument is shown and freely available online.

Books that Contain Tests

NOTE: All of the titles on this list contain some actual test instruments.

Baer, Lee, and Mark A. Blais. Handbook of Clinical Rating Scales and Assessment in Psychiatry and Mental Health. New York: Humana Press, 2010.   RC 473 .P78 H36 2010 NOBLE REF

Boyle, Gregory J., Gerald Matthews, and Donald H. Saklofske. Measures of Personality and Social Psychological Constructs. Academic Press, 2013.  ONLINE

Davis, Clive M. Handbook of Sexuality-Related Measures. Thousand Oaks, Calif.: Sage Publications, 1998.  NOBLE LIBRARY HQ 60 .H36 1998 REF

Educational Testing Service. Tests in Microfiche. Princeton, N.J.: Educational Testing Service, 1975 – 2004.   LB 3051 .T449 REF
This is a microfiche collection of actual tests and measures. The fiche collection is downstairs, but the indexes (which are very thin yellow paperback volumes) are on the Test Table.

Fischer, Joel, Kevin Corcoran, and Kevin Corcoran. Measures for Clinical Practice and Research: A Sourcebook. 4th ed. Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 2007.    BF 176 .C66 2007 REF

Johnson, Dale L. A Compendium of Psychosocial Measures. New York: Springer Pub., 2010. ONLINE

Maruish, Mark E. The Use of Psychological Testing for Treatment Planning and Outcomes Assessment. 3rd ed. Mahwah, N.J.: Lawrence Erlbaum, 2004.    RC 473 .P79 U83 2004 v.2 & v.3 REF   Volume 1 (General Considerations) is ONLINE; Volumes 2 and 3 are located in Noble Reference RC473.P79 U83 2004  and contain some instruments.

Miller, Delbert C., and Neil J. Salkind. Handbook of Research Design & Social Measurement. 6th ed. Thousand Oaks, Calif.; London: Sage Publications, 2002.    H 62 .M44 2002 REF

Robinson, John P., Phillip R. Shaver, and Lawrence S. Wrightsman. Measures of Personality and Social Psychological Attitudes. Vol. 1. San Diego, CA: Academic Press, 1991.    ONLINE HERE

Rubin, Rebecca B., Philip Palmgreen, and Howard E. Sypher. Communication Research Measures II : A Sourcebook. Mahwah, N.J.: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 2009. ONLINE HERE  **NOTE**: There is also a volume one that contains a different set of measures. Volume One is only available in print, but it can be found in Hayden Reserve and other campus libraries.

Rush, A. John, et al. Handbook of Psychiatric Measures. 2nd ed. Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Pub., 2008.                   RC 473 .P78 A46 2008 REF

Touliatos, John, Barry F. Perlmutter, and Murray A. Straus. Handbook of Family Measurement Techniques. 3 vols. Thousand Oaks, Calif.: Sage Publications, 2001.    HQ 728 .H267 2001 REF

Test Reviews and Descriptive Information

American Psychological Association. Directory of Unpublished Experimental Mental Measures. New York: Behavioral Pub. 1974 – 2008.     BF 431 .G625 REF
This multi-volume set is an index to journal articles that include information about tests and measures. It provides a way to identify tests on a particular topic; there is a subject index in each volume. Validity and reliability information is given, if available. There is no guarantee that the test itself will be reproduced in full in the article, but in some cases it is. In any case it provides enough information to decide whether or not the test is worth pursuing, either by finding more research studies that have used the instrument or by contacting the author to request a copy.

Boyle, Gregory J;Matthews, Gerald;Saklofske, Ph.D, Donald H. (2008). SAGE Handbook of Personality Theory and Assessment. SAGE Publications Ltd. ONLINE
Contains in-depth descriptive and evaluative information on a wide variety of personality tests. A great resource.

Fredman, Norman, Robert Sherman. Handbook of Measurements for Marriage and Family Therapy. Brunner/Mazel, New York, 1987.  ONLINE

Johnson, Orval G. Tests and Measurements in Child Development, Handbook II. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers, 1976. BF 722 .J64 1976 v.1 & v.2 REF

McDowell, Ian. Measuring health: A guide to rating scales and questionnaires. New York: Oxford University Press, 2006.  RA 408.5 .M38 2006 HAYDEN REF (also copies at Downtown, Poly, and West)

Hersen, Michel. Comprehensive Handbook of Psychological Assessment. 4 vols. Hoboken, N.J: John Wiley & Sons, 2004. BF176 .C654 2004 HAYDEN REF

Test Critiques. Kansas City, MO: Test Corporation of America, 1984-1996. vols. 1-10. BF 176 .T418 HAYDEN REF
No longer being published, but one of the best sources of test reviews; similar to Mental Measurements Yearbook, but not limited to commercial tests.

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