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Open Access Research article

Measuring levels of person-centeredness in acute care of older people with cognitive impairment: evaluation of the POPAC scale

Anita Nilsson1*, Marie Lindkvist2, Birgit H Rasmussen1 and David Edvardsson13

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Nursing, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden

2 Department of Statistics, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden

3 School of Nursing and Midwifery, La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia

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BMC Health Services Research 2013, 13:327  doi:10.1186/1472-6963-13-327

Published: 19 August 2013

Abstract

Background

Person-centeredness is increasingly advocated in the literature as a gold-standard, best practice concept in health services for older people. This concept describes care that incorporates individual and multidimensional needs, personal biography, subjectivity and interpersonal relationships. However, acute in-patient hospital services have a long-standing biomedical tradition that may contrast with person-centred care. Since few tools exist that enable measurements of the extent to which acute in-patient hospital services are perceived as being person-centred, this study aimed to translate the English version of the Person-centred care of older people with cognitive impairment in acute care scale (POPAC) to Swedish, and evaluate its psychometric properties in a sample of acute hospital staff.

Methods

The 15-item POPAC was translated, back-translated and culturally adjusted, and distributed to a cross-sectional sample of Swedish acute care staff (n = 293). Item performance was evaluated through assessment of item means, internal consistency by Cronbach’s alpha on total and on subscale levels; temporal stability was assessed through Pearson’s product correlation and intra-class correlation between test and retest scores. Confirmatory factor analysis was used to explore model fit.

Results

The results indicate that the Swedish version POPAC provides a tentatively construct-valid and reliable contribution to measuring the extent to which acute in-patient hospital services have processes and procedures that can facilitate person-centred care of older patients with cognitive impairment. However, some questions remain regarding the dimensionality of POPAC.

Conclusions

POPAC provides a valuable contribution to the quest of improving acute care for older patients with cognitive impairment by enabling measures and subsequent accumulation of internationally comparable data for research and practice development purposes. POPAC can be used to highlight strengths and areas for improvements in care practice for older patients, and to illuminate aspects that risk being overlooked in busy acute hospital settings.

Keywords:
Person-centred care; Nursing; Older people; Cognitive impairment; Scale; Measurement; Intervention