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Measuring positive caregiving experiences in family caregivers of nursing home residents: a comparison of the Positive Experiences Scale, Gain in Alzheimer Care INstrument, and Positive Aspects of Caregiving questionnaire.

Smaling, H.J.A., Joling, K.J., Achterberg, W.P., Francke, A.L., Steen, J.T. van der. Measuring positive caregiving experiences in family caregivers of nursing home residents: a comparison of the Positive Experiences Scale, Gain in Alzheimer Care INstrument, and Positive Aspects of Caregiving questionnaire. Geriatrics and Gerontology International: 2021
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Aim
To compare the Positive Experiences Scale (PES), Gain in Alzheimer Care Instrument (GAIN) and Positive Aspects of Caregiving (PAC) in assessing positive caregiving experiences among caregivers of nursing home residents with dementia, and to explore which caregiver and care recipient characteristics relate to positive caregiving experiences.

Methods
A total of 63 caregivers (mean age 59.2 years; SD 11.8) of nursing home residents with dementia from four Dutch nursing homes participated in this cross-sectional observational study. Internal consistency, convergent validity and user-friendliness (i.e. perception of item relevance and comprehensibility, ease of use, missing items, and user preference) were examined using Cronbach’s alpha’s, correlation coefficients and descriptive statistics, respectively.

Results
The Cronbach’s alpha for the GAIN, PAC and PES was 0.90, 0.94 and 0.68, respectively. The sum score of the PES showed a ceiling effect. Convergent validity was confirmed for all three instruments. The PES had the least missing data (mean number of missing items 0.2, SD 0.5) and was preferred by 40% of the caregivers, followed by the GAIN (mean number of missing items 0.6, SD 1.7, preferred by 11%). Positive caregiving experiences were negatively associated with educational level (range 0.28 to 0.35). Only the PES correlated positively with caregiver age (r = 0.25).

Conclusions
All three questionnaires can be used to assess positive caregiving experiences, but the GAIN might be the most suitable questionnaire for caregivers of nursing home residents with dementia. Further research is necessary to examine generalizability of the findings.