Validity and reliability of the Palliative Care Transition Measure for Caregivers (PCTM-C)
Patients suffering from advanced disease face different care transitions. The transition from acute to palliative care is challenging and may lead to the discontinuity of care. Family caregivers become important sources of information, as patients begin to experience difficulties in coping with emotional transition events. The Care Transition Measure was developed to evaluate care transitions as experienced by the elderly. It has never been used in palliative care. The aim of this study was to test the validity and reliability of a modified version of the Palliative Care Transition Measure, specifically the Palliative Care Transition Measure for Caregivers (PCTM-C).
The study included two main phases. Phase I focused on the construction of a modified version of the Palliative Care Transition Measure through two focus groups and by computing the content validity index. Phase II focused on testing the psychometric properties of the PCTM-C on 272 family caregivers through confirmatory factor analysis. Result The content validity index for each of the items was higher than 0.80, whereas that for the scale was 0.95. The model tested with confirmatory factor analysis fitted the data well and confirmed that the transition measures referred to communication, integrated care and a trusting-relationship, and therefore the core dimensions of continuity according to existing conceptual models. The internal consistency was high (Cronbach's alpha = 0.94). Significance of results The PCTM-C proved to be a suitable measure of the quality of such transitions. It may be used in clinical practice as a continuity quality indicator and has the potential to guide interventions to enhance family caregivers' experience of care continuity.
Care transition; family caregivers; measurement; palliative care; psychometrics.