Background: Informal care is essential for many people with dementia (PwD), but it often results in a considerable burden for the caregiver. The perseverance time instrument integrates the aspect of perceived burden with the caregiver’s capacity to cope with the burden, in contrast to most available instruments, which measure solely the burden of caregiving. The aim of this study was to extend insight into psychometric properties of the perseverance time instrument, specifically the construct validity, responsiveness, and predictive validity, within the population of informal caregivers for PwD. Methods: Data from two studies among informal caregivers of community-dwelling PwD in the Netherlands were used. The first study included 198 caregivers from a single region in the Netherlands and lasted 1 year. The second was a cross-sectional nationwide study with 166 caregivers for PwD. Questionnaires of both studies included questions regarding demographics and informal care, perseverance time, and other informal caregiver outcomes (Caregiver Strain Index, Self-rated Burden scale, Care-related Quality of Life instrument, and visual analogue scale health scores). Construct validity and responsiveness were assessed using a hypothesis-testing approach. The predictive validity of demographic characteristics and perseverance time for living situation after 1 year (living at home, institutionalized, or deceased) was assessed with multivariable multinomial regression. Results: All but one of the hypotheses regarding construct validity were met. Three of five hypotheses regarding responsiveness were met. Perseverance time scores at baseline were associated with living situation after 1 year (p < 0.01), unlike age, sex, and relationship with PwD. Perseverance time strongly increased predictive power for living situation after 1 year (c-index between 0.671 and 0.775) in addition to demographic characteristics. Conclusions: This study supports previous findings regarding the construct validity of the perseverance time instrument and adds new evidence of good construct validity, responsiveness, and predictive validity. The predictive power of perseverance time scores for living situation exceeds the predictive power of other burden measures and indicates informal care as an important factor for maintaining the patient at home.

, , , ,,
Alzheimers Research & Therapy
Erasmus School of Health Policy & Management (ESHPM)

Richters, A., Melis, R., van Exel, J., Olde Rikkert, M.G.M., & van der Marck, M.A. (2017). Perseverance time of informal caregivers for persons with dementia: construct validity, responsiveness and predictive validity of a single-question instrument. Alzheimers Research & Therapy, 9. doi:10.1186%2Fs13195-017-0251-0