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Our objective was to develop a validated questionnaire that can measure the extent to which dimensions of caring affect the health of carers of patients with motor neuron disease. An initial 190-item questionnaire was developed from in-depth interviews, focus groups and two pilot studies with carers. Factor analysis was applied to the data obtained from a large survey in the UK that identified the underlying dimensions of caring. The newly formed scales were tested for reliability using Cronbach's alpha, and for construct validity. The SF36-v2 was the benchmark instrument on which correlations were made to ascertain the relationship with carers' health. A 34-item instrument was developed which has demonstrated promising evidence of internal reliability and validity for six scales: emotional well-being, physical well-being, self care, disturbed sleep, carers' support needs and statutory services. High correlations were found with the Mental Component Score summary scale of the SF-36v2 (0.40-0.66). The development and testing of the MNDCQ indicates that as the carers' score on the MNDCQ increases, suggesting a higher level of burden, they are more likely to report poor health. Further longitudinal studies are needed to further test the instruments' ability to detect change over time.

Original publication

DOI

10.3109/17482960802455408

Type

Journal article

Journal

Amyotroph Lateral Scler

Publication Date

10/2009

Volume

10

Pages

463 - 469

Keywords

Adolescent, Adult, Aged, Caregivers, Health Services, Humans, Interviews as Topic, Middle Aged, Motor Neuron Disease, Needs Assessment, Psychometrics, Reproducibility of Results, Social Support, Surveys and Questionnaires, Young Adult