Testing the validity, reliability and utility of the Self-Administration of Medication (SAM) tool in patients undergoing rehabilitation

Jessica Anderson, Elizabeth Manias, Snezana Kusljic, Sue Finch

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12 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Determination of patients' ability to self-administer medications in the hospital has largely been determined using the subjective judgment of health professionals. Objectives: To examine the validity, reliability and utility of the Self-Administration of Medication (SAM) tool as an objective means to determine patients' ability to self-administer in a rehabilitation unit of a public teaching hospital in Melbourne, Australia. Methods: To assess validity of the SAM tool, associations were examined between the total SAM tool score and of the patients' competence to self-administer from the perceptions of the tool administrator, patients and nurses. Validity also was determined from a principal component analysis. Pearson correlations were calculated for how SAM scores related to scores obtained from the Functional Independence Measure (FIM) and Barthel Score Index (BSI). To assess the SAM tool's reliability, a Cronbach's alpha coefficient was calculated. Utility of the SAM tool was evidenced by documenting its administration time. Results: One hundred patients participated in this study. The SAM tool had a Cronbach's alpha coefficient of 0.75 and took a mean time of 5.36min to complete. The capability to self-medicate section of the SAM tool had strong correlations with the FIM (r=0.485) and BSI (r=0.472) data, respectively, and the total SAM tool had moderate and strong correlations with the nurses' (r=0.315) and tool administrator's (r=0.632) perceptions of patients' ability to self-administer, respectively. Bland-Altman and ROC curve analyses showed poor agreement between the total SAM tool score and the nurses' perceptions. Conclusions: The SAM tool demonstrated acceptable overall internal consistency. It only requires a short time to be completed and is more objective than seeking out health professionals' perceptions. Additional research is needed to further validate this approach to determining patients' ability to self-medicate.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)204-216
Number of pages13
JournalResearch in Social and Administrative Pharmacy
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Medication-taking competence
  • Self-administration of medication
  • Self-Medication

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