Validation of the Care-Related Quality of Life Instrument in different study settings: findings from The Older Persons and Informal Caregivers Survey Minimum DataSet (TOPICS-MDS)
SourceQuality of Life Research, 24, 5, (2015), pp. 1281-93
Article / Letter to editor
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Quality of Life Research
SubjectRadboudumc 18: Healthcare improvement science RIHS: Radboud Institute for Health Sciences; Radboudumc 1: Alzheimer`s disease DCMN: Donders Center for Medical Neuroscience
PURPOSE: Validity is a contextual aspect of a scale which may differ across sample populations and study protocols. The objective of our study was to validate the Care-Related Quality of Life Instrument (CarerQol) across two different study design features, sampling framework (general population vs. different care settings) and survey mode (interview vs. written questionnaire). METHODS: Data were extracted from The Older Persons and Informal Caregivers Minimum DataSet (TOPICS-MDS, www.topics-mds.eu ), a pooled public-access data set with information on >3,000 informal caregivers throughout the Netherlands. Meta-correlations and linear mixed models between the CarerQol's seven dimensions (CarerQol-7D) and caregiver's level of happiness (CarerQol-VAS) and self-rated burden (SRB) were performed. RESULTS: The CarerQol-7D dimensions were correlated to the CarerQol-VAS and SRB in the pooled data set and the subgroups. The strength of correlations between CarerQol-7D dimensions and SRB was weaker among caregivers who were interviewed versus those who completed a written questionnaire. The directionality of associations between the CarerQol-VAS, SRB and the CarerQol-7D dimensions in the multivariate model supported the construct validity of the CarerQol in the pooled population. Significant interaction terms were observed in several dimensions of the CarerQol-7D across sampling frame and survey mode, suggesting meaningful differences in reporting levels. CONCLUSIONS: Although good scientific practice emphasises the importance of re-evaluating instrument properties in individual research studies, our findings support the validity and applicability of the CarerQol instrument in a variety of settings. Due to minor differential reporting, pooling CarerQol data collected using mixed administration modes should be interpreted with caution; for TOPICS-MDS, meta-analytic techniques may be warranted.
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