The purpose of this study was to develop and validate the Policymakers’ Information Use Questionnaire (POLIQ) to capture the intention of individuals in decision-making position, such as health policymakers, to act on research-based evidence, in order to inform theory and the application of behaviour change models to decision-making.
The development and validation comprised three steps: item generation, qualitative face validation, and factorial construct validation. Confirmatory factor analysis was applied to estimate item-domain correlations for five pre-defined constructs relating to content, beliefs, behaviour, control and intent. Cronbach’s alpha coefficient was calculated to assess overall consistency of questionnaire items with the pre-defined constructs. Participants in the item generation and face validation were health and policy researchers and two former decision-makers (former assistant deputy ministries) from Canadian provincial level. Participants in the construct validation were 39 Canadian decision-makers at various positions of municipal, provincial, and federal jurisdiction who participated in a series of policy dialogues focused on childhood disability research.
Internal consistency of items belonging to the respective questionnaire domains was moderate to high with estimated Cronbach’s α values ranging from 0.67 to 0.84. Estimated item-domain correlations indicated moderate to high measurement performance for the domains norm, control and beliefs, whereas weak to moderate correlations resulted for the constructs content and intent. Estimate imprecisions of factor loadings (95% confidence interval widths) were considerable for the questionnaire domains content and intent.
The study findings provide initial evidence on face validity and appropriate measurement properties of the POLIQ based on a convenient sample of decision-makers in social and health policy. Larger validation studies in relevant populations are needed to further establish psychometric properties and utility of the POLIQ.