Psychometric Assessment of the Depressive Cognition Scale in Caregivers of Persons with Dementia
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Issues in Mental Health Nursing
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Caregivers of persons with dementia are prone to depression. Early identification of cognitive depressive symptoms is important to prevent the development of clinical depression. The Depressive Cognition Scale (DCS) can be used for early detection, but the scale's psychometrics have not been tested in caregivers of persons with dementia. In this study, 80 caregivers of persons with dementia completed the eight-item DCS and measures of caregiver burden and resourcefulness. A Cronbach's alpha of .88 indicated internal consistency. Construct validity was supported by significant correlations with caregiver burden (r = .40; p < .001) and resourcefulness (r = –.54; p < .001). Principal components factor analysis resulted in two factors in which five items loaded cleanly on one factor and two items have cross-loadings. Because prior factor analysis in previous studies resulted in one factor, we did confirmatory factor analysis in which we forced the items on one factor. All the items loaded on the single factor and the amount of variance explained was 55.99%. The findings suggest the DCS is useful for early detection of depression in caregivers of persons with dementia.