Cronbach's alpha is a statistic for investigating the internal consistency of a questionnaire (Cronbach, 1951; Bland & Altman, 1997).
How to enter data
Each question of the questionnaire results in one variable and the answers (numerically coded) are entered in the respective columns of the spreadsheet. The answers of one subject are entered on one row of the spreadsheet.
In the example, the results of Question 3 were found to be inversely related to the results of the other questions. Therefore the results of Question 3 were reversed prior to analysis.
MedCalc reports Cronbach's alpha with its lower confidence limit (Feldt, 1965).
Next, MedCalc calculates the alpha that obtained with each question in turn dropped. If the deletion of a question causes a considerable increase in alpha then you should consider dropping that question from the questionnaire.
MedCalc calculates Cronbach's alpha using the raw data and on the standardized variables (a transformation so that their mean is 0 and variance is 1). Using the "raw" data, questions that have more variability contribute more to the variability of the resulting scale; in the "standardized" form, each question gets equal weight.
For research purposes alpha should be more than 0.7 to 0.8, but for clinical purposes alpha should at least be 0.90 (Bland & Altman, 1997).