Spirituality Among Women Dementia Caregivers: Construct Validation of the Spiritual Perspective Scale
Zauszniewski, Jaclene A.
Bhatta, Tirth R
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Session presented on Friday, September 26, 2014: The older adult (65 years and above) is the fastest growing population in the United States comprising 13% of the total population. Dementia, which affects more than five million older adults in the United States, is the leading cause for their dependency and disability. Among 44 million of family caregivers, 15 million constitutes of caregivers of someone with Alzheimers disease or other dementias. More than sixty percent of the family caregivers are women. Providing care for elders with dementia has been linked with increased stress and depressive symptoms. Spirituality has been shown to positively influence physical and psychological well-being of caregivers. Although the Spiritual Perspective Scale (SPS) developed by Reed (1986) has been used to measure spirituality among caregivers, it was originally developed for terminally ill hospitalized patients, and there is no documented psychometric evaluation of the scales reliability and validity among women dementia caregivers. This secondary analysis of data obtained from 138 women dementia caregivers evaluated the psychometric properties of the 10-item SPS. Exploratory factor analysis revealed a single factor solution for the SPS with average primary factor loadings greater than 0.7. Except for one item, which focused on forgiveness, inter-item correlations were greater than 0.5. As a reflection of strong inter-item correlations, the reliability of the SPS as measured by Cronbachs alpha was 0.93 showed strong internal consistency. Construct validity was supported by significant relationships in the expected directions between the SPS measure of spirituality and theoretically related constructs, including self-assessed health (r = 0.31, p < 0.01), resourcefulness (r = 0.39, p < 0.01), depression (r = -0.34, p < 0.01), negative emotions (r = -0.36, p < 0.01) and perceived stress (r = -0.31, p < 0.01) thus, providing evidence for convergent and divergent validity. The findings demonstrate that the SPS is internally consistent and measures a single construct and is therefore, a potentially valuable instrument for future studies of the role of spirituality in reducing stressors associated with caregiving of older adults with dementia.