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WHSL Nursing: Tests. Survey Instruments

How to Find Tests, Survey Instruments in Nursing

The link below is an invaluable site from the Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU), providing information on how to find tests and survey instruments which may be helpful in nursing research. PLEASE NOTE THAT NOT ALL MATERIAL LINKED ON THE VCU SITE MAY BE AVAILABLE AT WHSL. 

Finding a Particular Type of Test (Hints from the American Psychological Association)

If you are trying to locate tests that measure self-concept, or some other specific cognitive skill or personality trait, you should begin your search with one of the test reference books identified below. If available, TIP may be your best choice. Each of the references contains several indexes to aid in such a search. Subject and test title indexes may be most helpful. For example, suppose you are interested in measuring self-concept. Looking under 'personality tests' in the TIP subject index, you would quickly find tests for self-concept. On further inspection, you would identify over a dozen additional tests that may be relevant, but are listed somewhere else in the nine-page index of personality tests. Yet a relatively quick search of a specific subject heading in the index can provide you with several useful leads.

Once you have identified several tests that may be of interest, you would review the more detailed entries on each test to determine if they are useful for your intended purpose. Entries typically identify the age or school grade levels for which the test is appropriate, as well as any subtests. If you are searching for a very specialized test or measure, your search will not be so simple. For example, if you are interested in measuring honesty, you may not locate any relevant tests through the subject index. In this case, your best option is to go to the MMY and use the 'score index,' which would identify tests measuring subareas (e.g., honesty).

Locating a Specific Test (Hints from the American Psychological Association)

Once you have a name or author of a test, your chances of locating it are greatly improved. Check any of the four test reference books. TIP and the MMY  have the largest indexes of tests. Title and author indexes in each of the reference books should refer you to the section of the book describing the test. (In the case of the MMY or Test Critiques, you may actually be referred to an earlier volume of the book for more information).

American Psychological Association. FAQ/Finding Information About Psychological Tests.  Section 1: Published Psychological Tests. Available: [Accessed 15.08.2013]

Books & Journals

Many test instruments can be found in print books or series in other libraries. You will need to visit the Wits Library in question, and adhere to that branch's borrowing rules, which may be different to those at WHSL. The book/journal needs to be returned to the library from which it was borrowed. Some journals may not be borrowed, and articles will have to be photocopied in the branch library concerned.


The following databases may be useful in locating a survey or instrument relating to behaviour. Try using search terms like personality assessment, personality disorder, personality test, personality questionnaire, etc.