COMBI >> Scales >> Family Needs Questionnaire>> Properties


Jenny Marwitz, MA, Viginia Commonwealth University/Medical College of Virginia at

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Marwitz, J. (2000). The Family Needs Questionnaire. The Center for Outcome Measurement in Brain Injury.
combi/fnq ( accessed ).





FNQ Properties

Evaluation of the psychometric properties has been reported extensively (Camplair, Kreutzer, & Doherty, 1990; Kreutzer, Serio, Bergquist, 1994; Serio, Kreutzer, Witol, 1997; Serio, Kreutzer, and Gervasio, 1995). As an index of internal consistency, Spearman-Brown split-half reliability was computed (Kreutzer, Serio, Bergquist, 1994). A coefficient of 0.75 was considered acceptable, as the content of the FNQ items is diverse, and some variability between respondents was anticipated.

A factor analysis study was completed using responses from 178 individuals (Serio, Kreutzer, Witol, 1997). Six factors were revealed: Health Information, Emotional Support, Instrumental Support, Professional Support, Community Support Network, and Involvement with Care. Alpha reliability coefficients for the six subscales ranged from 0.78 to 0.89, evidence that the FNQ is comprised of reliable and independent needs factors. The factor analysis also provided support for the FNQ's construct validity. Specifically, five of the need factors corresponded to dimensions of social support identified by Wortman (1989). Additional support for the FNQ's validity comes from another investigation (Serio, Kreutzer, and Gervasio, 1995) of 180 family members of outpatients with brain injuries. Examination of the obtained responses indicated that the FNQ has content validity and clinical utility.

The table below lists the six scales, sample items within each scale, and corresponding item numbers.

Health Information

Item #

Sample Items


to be shown that medical, educational or rehabilitation staff respect the patient's needs or wishes


to be told about all changes in the patient's medical status

Emotional Support

Item #

Sample Items


to have my significant other understand how difficult it is for me


to have my partner or friends understand how difficult it is for me

Instrumental Support

Item #

Sample Items


to have help keeping the house (e.g., shopping, cleaning, cooking, etc.)


to have help from other members of the family in taking care of the patient

Professional Support

Item #

Sample Items


to be told how long each of the patient's problems is expected to last


to have enough resources for the patient (e.g., rehabilitation programs, physical therapy, counseling, job counseling)

Community Support Network

Item #

Sample Items


to have other family members understand the patient's problems


to have the patient's friends understand his/her problems


Involvement with Care

Item #

Sample Items


to give my opinions daily to others involved in the patient's care, rehabilitation, or education


to be shown that my opinions are used in planning the patient's treatment, rehabilitation or education



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