Caring Science Research




Watson Caring Science Institute, in partnership with Dr. Watson and Dr. Barbara Brewer, Director of Watson Caritas Comparative Database and The University of Colorado Watson Caring Science Center, extends an invitation for any hospital to participate as a research partner in building an international comparative caring database. Hospital leaders who are interested in researching relationships between theoretically and empirically validated core authentic caring indicators and selected patient outcomes should consider joining us in this groundbreaking research project. The Watson Caritas Patient Survey captures 5 core patient care indicators of ‘patients’ experience of ‘human caring’, whereas other patient indicators focus on ‘problems’.

Background and Rationale

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.

Purpose and Objectives

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.

Benefits to Participation

  • Participation in national program of Clinical Caring Research
  • Organization level comparisons to other organizations participating in the database
  • Unit level comparisons to similar units (for example medical units compared with other medical units)
  • Quarterly reports available online
  • Ability to download own data for internal quality improvement
  • Ability to receive ongoing feedback about authentic caring practices from the patient’s perspective
  • Ability to measure effectiveness of professional practice model
  • National system leadership demonstrating new forms of evidence and relationships between authentic caring science institutions and conventional technical medical care institutions and nurse-sensitive patient safety and quality indicators (e.g., patient falls, hospital acquired pressure ulcers, length of stay, patient experience with nursing care)


Annual Research Fee

  • NON-Affiliate Hospitals & Systems: $3,200 base fee (1st hospital) + $320 (10%) each additional hospital
  • Affiliate Hospitals & Systems: $3,000 base fee (no additional hospital fee applied)

For further information about participation requirements, contact Research Principal Investigator, Dr. Barbara Brewer.    bbrewer@email.arizona.edu


Watson Caritas Patient Score