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Nursing Research Instruments

This guide contains resources to assist your search for research instruments used in the nursing field - assessments, scales, questionnaires, measures, surveys, inventories, and tests used in qualitative and quantitative research.

Tips for Getting Instruments

Once you have found an instrument related to your topic, it is time to get permission to use the instrument. If in the instrument the author/publisher clearly states that it is freely available, such as the ones in the Research Instruments Developed, Adapted or Used by the Stanford Patient Education Center collection, then you're OK! Go ahead and use the instrument.

If the instrument policy is unknown or vague, or if the instrument is not available -only mentioned or described- you'll need to reach out and ask.


  1. Look for the "Original Version Author" and corresponding contact information in the references of the publication the instrument was mentioned in and/or any websites where information about the instrument is offered. Medical Outcomes Trust is a good place to start looking for this information.
  2. If a contact form is offered, fill that out, if not once you have the contact information, write an email to the owner(s) stating your intention and which instrument (make sure you get the name correct!) you wish to obtain / use. If possible, use your email address.
  3. Identify yourself as a student or member of an academic organization. Make it clear that you will not use the instrument for commercial purposes.
  4. Keep a record of permissions granted, permissions denied or no response. If you don't recieve a response after a few weeks, send another email.