Caring Science Measurement Tools & Research

Watson Caritas Patient Score® (WCPS)

The Watson Caritas Patient Score® (WCPS) is a reliable and valid instrument used in hospitals and systems throughout the United States (and other parts of the world) to assess patient perspectives of caring practices of hospital staff. Other versions of the instrument are available to assess self-caring, Caritas leadership, and caring practices of colleagues and peers.

These tools are available for download for individuals only for $30 each or all 8 for $80. There is no limit to times used per participant/subject. Please complete permission request form below. If you are a for-profit organization wishing to use the tools please contact Julie Watson, Executive Director:

Measurement Tools are free for active members.

Look for your coupon code on your membership page, listed under the MEMBERS menu on the top navigation bar.

The instrument contains five critical caring questions, to assess authentic human caring practices. The items are derived from the 10 Caritas Processes® of Watson’s Human Caring Theory. The WCPS® is a 7 point Likert scale where individuals who complete the survey are asked to rate the frequency from never to always of caring practices they have experienced. Caring practices include:

  • providing care with loving kindness
  • having helping and trusting relationships
  • creating caring environments
  • meeting basic needs with dignity, and
  • valuing the patient’s personal beliefs and faith.


The need for theory guided practice and greater transparency regarding quality outcomes has provided a backdrop for nurse leaders throughout the world to measure the effectiveness of their professional practice environments. As a result, there is a growing need for theoretically sound empirical data that can be used to evaluate performance of key activities against other similar organizations. The Watson Caritas Patient Score® (WCPS) is being used in multi-site clinical research in systems using Dr. Jean Watson’s Theory of Human Caring and Caring Science as a theoretical foundation for advancing professional practice by measuring clinical indicators of caring in relation to patient outcomes. These foci are considered important dimensions of professional theory-guided practice and play an important role in advancing Caring Science research.


The purposes of this study are to:

  1. apply the WCPS® 5 item instrument in a group of acute care institutions using a common “Caring Science” professional practice model
  2. build an accurate and reliable national comparative database on caring and related outcome variables
  3. use the data on caring for ongoing performance improvement and clinical investigations
  4. improve the validity and reliability of the WCPS®
  5. build a user-generated reporting tool and evaluate its utility to the end user
  6. appraise the value of the database and
  7. evaluate relationships among patient perceptions of a caring environment and patient safety and satisfaction indicators.

Using Press Ganey Now?

If your hospital currently uses the Press Ganey survey, please contact Dr. Watson directly at to facilitate your request for use of Watson Caritas Patient Score (WCPS) instrument.

Please see National Press Release.

Results Request

Please share your results of the outcome of your research using our tools. This will help us to collect Caring Science research and further the field of knowledge in this area for others.

Please send your results to

Caring Science Research — Criteria, Evidence, and Measurement
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Permission for Use

Individuals: please complete the following form to request permission to use these tools. $30 each or all 8 for $80.
NOTE: You will be redirected to a Thank You page after you Submit this form. If you remain on this page, please scroll up the page to check for any omissions in your form. Please contact if you have any questions/issues.