PURPOSE: Informal care constitutes an important part of the total care for people with dementia. Therefore, the impact of the syndrome on their caregivers as well as that of health and social care services for people with dementia should be considered. This study investigated the convergent and clinical validity of the CarerQol instrument, which measures and values the impact of providing informal care, in a multi-country sample of caregivers for people with dementia.
METHODS: Cross-sectional data from a sample of 451 respondents in eight European countries, collected by the Actifcare project, were evaluated. Convergent validity was analysed with Spearman's correlation coefficients and multivariate correlations between the CarerQol-7D utility score and dimension scores, and other similar quality of life measures such as CarerQol-VAS, ICECAP-O, and EQ-5D. Clinical validity was evaluated by bivariate and multivariate analyses of the degree to which the CarerQol instrument can differentiate between characteristics of caregivers, care receivers and caregiving situation. Country dummies were added to test CarerQol score differences between countries.
RESULTS: The mean CarerQol utility score was 77.6 and varied across countries from 74.3 (Italy) to 82.3 (Norway). The scores showed moderate to strong positive correlations with the CarerQol-VAS, ICECAP-O, and EQ-5D health problems score of the caregiver. Multivariate regression analysis showed that various characteristics of the caregiver, care receiver and caregiving situation were associated with caregiver outcomes, but there was no evidence of a country-level effect.
CONCLUSION: This study demonstrates the convergent and clinical validity of the CarerQol instrument to evaluate the impact of providing informal care for people with dementia.