Self-administered instruments are used to measure components of work environments that cannot be measured directly. The Healthy Work Environment Assessment Tool (HWEAT) of the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses is a promising instrument. However, it is available only in English and Japanese, precluding its use in other populations and cross-national comparisons.


To describe the Canadian French translation and cross-cultural adaptation of the HWEAT (F-HWEAT) and to explore its factor structure and psychometric properties.


Cross-cultural adaptation of the HWEAT and collection of evidence of validity via an electronic cross-sectional survey.


A total of 564 intensive care unit nurses participated in the validation study. Confirmatory factor analysis supported the presence of a single overarching factor measured by the F-HWEAT. The Cronbach α for the instrument was 0.89 (95% CI, 0.88-0.91). The mean and median interitem correlations were both 0.32, and item-partial total correlations ranged from 0.33 to 0.64. The overall F-HWEAT score indicated that nurses believed their work environment needed improvements. Moderate positive correlations were found between the overall F-HWEAT score and nurses’ perceptions of care quality (r = 0.45 [95% CI, 0.38-0.51]) and safety (r = 0.48 [95% CI, 0.40-0.55]).


The results support the use of the F-HWEAT in French-speaking populations. Using the F-HWEAT will help elucidate areas needing improvement and expand global dialogues about healthy critical care work environments. With this information, nurse leaders and researchers can develop and implement modern strategies to improve the work conditions of intensive care unit nurses.

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