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Title: Validation of the Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support (MSPSS) for family carers of people with dementia
Author: Cartwright, Anna
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2020
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Aims: The Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support (MSPSS; Zimet et al., 1988) is a measure of the perceived adequacy of social support. Whilst this is an incredibly important area of research for family caregivers of people with dementia, it is not clear whether the MSPSS retains its psychometric properties when used with this population. The primary aim was to conduct an in-depth psychometric analysis of the MSPSS in a sample of family caregivers. / Method: A validation study, looking at reliability and validity of the MSPSS. Participants completed measures electronically using a self-complete procedure. Properties assessed were internal consistency, floor and ceiling effects, test-retest reliability, convergent validity and factor structure. / Results: 270 participants completed the study and 58 comprised the test-retest sample. Internal consistency was excellent for the total score (alpha = 0.92) and three subscales (alpha = 0.92-0.94). Significant correlations were observed in the expected directions with depression (r = -.48, p < .001) and mental (r = 0.32, p<.001) and physical (r = 0.17, p=.003) health-related quality of life. Test re-test reliability over a 4-week period was excellent for the total score (ICC = 0.90 95%CI = 0.84, 0.94) and subscale scores (ICC = 0.84-0.89). Confirmatory factor analysis indicated acceptable fit indices for the three-factor solution. / Conclusions: The MSPSS has robust psychometric properties and is suitable for use with family caregivers of people with dementia. The MSPSS may therefore be recommended for use with this population. Further research is required to establish responsiveness and determine cross-cultural validity.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available