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Measuring the Needs of Family Caregivers of People With Dementia: An Assessment of Current Methodological Strategies and Key Recommendations

While dementia caregivers are regarded as a population with high unmet needs, there is little consensus as to how caregivers’ needs should be conceptualized and measured. This article describes how dementia caregivers’ needs are currently assessed in the scientific literature with the goal of suggesting guidelines for the enhancement of future measurement of caregiver needs. A review of 26 articles identified overarching themes within measurement approaches including variation in methodological rigor, proxy indicators of need, dual needs assessment of caregiver and person with dementia (PWD), and third-party needs assessment. We recommend future research dedicate theoretical attention to the conceptualization and classification of caregivers’ needs to build a stronger foundation for measurement. The measurement development process should capitalize on mixed-methodology and follow instrument development and validation guidelines set forth by measurement theory. Reliable and valid instruments are essential to developing services and policies that address dementia caregivers’ needs. 

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Key Information

Type of Reference
Jour
Type of Work
Journal article
Publisher
Sage Publications
ISBN/ISSN
1552-4523
Publication Year
2019
Issue Number
9
Journal Titles
Journal of Applied Gerontology
Volume Number
38
Start Page
1304
End Page
1318