Validity and Reliability of the Mishel Uncertainty in Illness Scale (MUIS) for Medically Managed Patients with Coronary Artery Disease

Student Author(s)

Christine Springer

Faculty Mentor(s)

Barbara Vincensi, PhD, RN, FNP; Donna Garrett, MSN

Document Type


Event Date



Uncertainty is a complex phenomenon that may be detrimental to health and overall quality of life. Although the experience of uncertainty is individualized, nursing interventions to increase patient knowledge and control over disease outcomes have been effective to decrease anxiety and depression. The purpose of this study is to determine the validity and reliability of the Mishel Uncertainty in Illness Scale (MUIS) for use in a larger interventional study on medically managed patients with coronary artery disease. This project is based on Mishel’s Reconceptualized Theory of Uncertainty in Illness, focusing on the experience of uncertainty over time as patients integrate uncertainty into their way of life. A review of the literature was done to determine validity and reliability of the tool, obtaining research articles using the databases CINAHL, Medline, Ovid, PSYCHInfo, and PubMed. Ten articles were chosen for analysis. The inclusion criteria for the articles were limited to primary research studies in English that used the MUIS Adult Form. Studies that did not meet inclusion criteria were those examining children, caregivers, and nonhospitalized adults, and were not included in this review. Therefore, the main limitation of the study is that only the form for one population was examined. Reliability for the total scale ranged a=0.64-0.91, with support for construct and convergent validity. The MUIS Adult Form is a valid and reliable tool. In the future these findings may be used to support the utility of this tool, and subsequently more fully understand the experience of uncertainty.

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