Development and Validation of a Scale for Measuring Spousal End-of-Life Communication

Date created: 
2014-04-16
Identifier: 
etd8260
Keywords: 
Marital communication
End-of-life communication
Scale development and validation
Older adults
Willingness to communicate about end of life
Advance care planning
Abstract: 

Currently there are no instruments measuring communication about end-of-life (EOL) issues in families not involved in palliative care. The purpose of the study was the development and initial validation of a new quantitative instrument, the Marital End-of-Life Communication Scale (MELCS), to measure EOL communication in married/partnered adults. After initial item development and validation in married/partnered adults (age 45 years old and older, N=101), six items, scored by 5-point Likert-type response options, were chosen for the final version of the scale. Factor analyses confirmed the theorized single-factor structure. The MELCS demonstrated excellent reliability (CR=0.892) as well as good content, convergent (AVE=0.587), discriminant, construct, and criterion-related validity. In addition, the scale was invariant across age, gender, and level of death anxiety. Analyses of the nomological network showed that marital EOL communication positively related with general marital communication (R=0.53), and negatively related with death anxiety (R=–0.47) and self-rated health status (R=–0.44).

Document type: 
Thesis
Rights: 
Copyright remains with the author. The author granted permission for the file to be printed and for the text to be copied and pasted.
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Andrew Wister
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: Department of Gerontology
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.A.
Statistics: