Cross-validation of the Care Dependency Scale in Intensive Care Unit (ICUCDS)

Cross-validation of the Care Dependency Scale in Intensive Care Unit (ICUCDS)



The Care Dependency Scale is a theory-based, comprehensive tool widely used in low-intensity care settings to evaluate patients’ dependency. This study aimed to test the psychometric properties of the Care Dependency Scale in intensive care units.

Research methodology/design

A multicentre cross-sectional validation study was conducted. Exploratory factor analysis and confirmatory factor analysis were performed using a Maximum Likelihood robust estimator with Geomin oblique rotation.


Adult patients admitted to intensive care units of four Italian hospitals.


The sample included 453 patients (mean age = 68 years, 62% male). The exploratory factor analysis, conducted on a subsample of 227 patients, revealed a two-factor structure (Physical care dependency and Psychosocial care dependency) with good fit indexes. The confirmatory factor analysis was conducted on another subsample of 226 patients and a second-order factor was specified. The model tested yielded adequate fit indexes. Concurrent and known-groups validity, and reliability, were also adequate.


The Care Dependency Scale is a multidimensional, valid and reliable tool able to assess the care dependency of critically ill patients. It can help to distinguish between physical and psychosocial needs and to create a base for patient-customised and holistic care.



Care dependency

Intensive care unit

Nursing care


Statistical Factor Analysis

Validation studies

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