The 39 item Parkinson's disease questionnaire (PDQ-39) is the most widely used patient reported rating scale in Parkinson's disease. However, several fundamental measurement assumptions necessary for confident use and interpretation of the eight PDQ-39 scales have not been fully addressed.
Postal survey PDQ-39 data from 202 people with Parkinson's disease (54% men; mean age 70 years) were analysed regarding psychometric properties using traditional and Rasch measurement methods.
Data quality was good (mean missing item responses, 2%) and there was general support for the legitimacy of summing items within scales without weighting or standardisation. Score reliabilities were adequate (Cronbach's alpha 0.72-0.95; test-retest 0.76-0.93). The validity of the current grouping of items into scales was not supported by scaling success rates (mean 56.2%), or factor and Rasch analyses. All scales represented more health problems than that experienced by the sample (mean floor effect 15%) and showed compromised score precision towards the less severe end.
Our results provide general support for the acceptability and reliability of the PDQ-39. However, they also demonstrate limitations that have implications for the use of the PDQ-39 in clinical research. The grouping of items into scales appears overly complex and the meaning of scale scores is unclear, which hampers their interpretation. Suboptimal targeting limits measurement precision and, therefore, probably also responsiveness. These observations have implications for the role of the PDQ-39 in clinical trials and evidence based medicine. PDQ-39 derived endpoints should be interpreted and selected cautiously, particularly regarding small but clinically important effects among people with less severe problems.
There are a limited number of scales available in the Spanish language that can be used to detect burden among individuals who care for a dependent family member. The purpose of this work was to adapt and validate the Caregiver Risk Screen (CRS) scale developed by Guberman et al. (2001) (Guberman, N., Keefe, J., Fancey, P., Nahmiash, D. and Barylak, L. (2001). Development of Screening and Assessment Tools for Family Caregivers: Final Report. Montreal, Canada: Health Transition Fund).
The sample was made up of 302 informal caregivers of dependent family members (average age 57.3 years, and 78.9% were women). Scale structure was subjected to a confirmatory factor analysis. Concurrent and convergent validity were assessed by correlation with validated questionnaires for measuring burden (Zarit Burden Inventory (ZBI)) and psychological health (SCL-90-R).
The results show a high level of internal consistency (Cronbach's alpha = 0.86), suitable fit of the one-dimensional model tested via confirmatory factor analysis (GFI = 0.91; CFI = 0.91; RMSEA = 0.097), and appropriate convergent validity with similar constructs (r = 0.77 with ZBI; and r-values between 0.45 and 0.63 with SCL-90-R dimensions).
The findings are promising in terms of their adaptation of the CRS to Spanish, and the results enable us to draw the conclusion that the CRS is a suitable tool for assessing and detecting strain in family caregivers. Nevertheless, new research is required that explores all the psychometric features on the scale.
Health, illness and treatment representations have been described as key factors for return to work. The Revised Illness Perception Questionnaire (IPQ-R) is a quantitative tool available to assess these factors. However, an adaptation is necessary before its use with workers on prolonged work disability presenting musculoskeletal disorders (MSD).
Two distinct phases were carried out, firstly, by adapting the IPQ-R for a population of workers in prolonged work disability related to an MSD and, secondly, by conducting a pre-test on the adapted questionnaire to assess item clarity. PHASE 1: The Technique for Research of Information by the Animation of a Group of Experts (TRIAGE) was selected to proceed with the adaptation. TRIAGE is an inductive and structured method aiming at the attainment of group consensus. Consensus was obtained in two steps: for the individual production, each expert had to judge the pertinence of the questioned elements and suggested new elements if needed; for the group production, all suggestions submitted were sorted according to TRIAGE systematic procedure, in order to retain the most pertinent ones by group consensus. Analysis was done simultaneously to data collection, by the attainment of group consensus. The group of experts consisted of six clinicians and two researchers. For the clinicians, selection criteria consisted of: being an occupational therapist or a psychologist and working for at least 2 years in a vocational rehabilitation setting for workers in prolonged work disability; for the researchers, being affiliated to a university and to have pursued a least one research project regarding prolonged work disability following MSD and development/validation of assessment tools. As a result of the adaptation process eight items were excluded because they were not considered pertinent by the experts. The label "illness" was changed for "current health condition" and 26 new items have been added to the questionnaire to better account for the work disability. The adapted questionnaire appears to present good content validity. PHASE 2: The assessment tool was then pre-tested using a widely known method for trans-cultural adaptation of questionnaires. This method adds a 7-point scale following each item in order to assess item clarity. When the questionnaire is filled, questions are asked to the respondent about items with low rating (4 or less on 7) in order to identify potential ambiguities. Inclusion criteria for the respondents consisted of: being between 18 and 64 of age, having more than 3 months of absence from work related to an MSD and being admitted in a rehabilitation program. Workers absent from work for more than a year, unable to understand and/or read French, suffering from an MSD related to a specific pathology, or presenting major psychiatric problems as indicated in their medical record were excluded. Nine workers were recruited using convenience sampling. Average clarity rating was above 4 for each item, suggesting that the adapted questionnaire was clear. Characteristics of participants seem to be representative of the target population.
A questionnaire was adapted in order to better assess the representations of workers in a situation of work disability following an MSD. The rigorous process used in this study ensures the quality of the adaptation, but a validation study must be conducted before the implementation of the questionnaire in clinic and research.
There is an accumulating body of research related to the psychosomatic study of blood pressure. One variable that has received attention is defense use. We examined the relation between defense use and blood pressure in men and women of different ages.
A random sample of 667 participants was selected from a population-based study. Resting blood pressure was obtained, and each participant was rated for defense use by a trained observer using Defense-Q. An Adaptive Defense Profile (ADP) score was calculated for each participant, and this score was related to blood pressure.
Regression analyses revealed a significant main effect for the ADP score for both diastolic and systolic blood pressure. Those persons with higher ADP scores had lower diastolic and systolic blood pressure. As well, a significant Age x Sex x ADP score interaction was found for diastolic blood pressure. Older women with a less ADP score had higher diastolic blood pressure.
These findings suggest the continued investigation of defense use and blood pressure.
Information about quality of life (QOL) is valuable in evaluating pharmaceutical agents but it is not adequately assessed in many dementia drug trials. In prevention trials, following participants to conversion to AD requires QOL scales appropriate for both normal and cognitively impaired individuals. Our objective was to evaluate the utility of several scales for subject or informant QOL assessment: Quality of Life-AD; Quality of Life Activity Inventory; SF-36; SF-12 (a shortened version of the SF-36); and Satisfaction with Life Scale. Measurements were collected from 644 subject-study partner pairs, half of whom completed the instruments at the clinic and half at home. Three-month test-retest data were collected. Scales administered at home or in clinic did not differ significantly. Subject self-ratings showed a wide range for all scales. Test-retest intraclass coefficients ranged from 0.67 to 0.77. Moderately high interscale associations suggest that the scales are measuring common aspects of QOL but are not equivalent. Furthermore, they differed with respect to associations with demographic variables and QOL determinants. We conclude that the QOL scores at baseline show sufficient range and reliability to suggest they will have utility in tracking QOL through conversion to dementia.
To study sociodemographic determinants of depression among 14-16 years old girls and boys, and the role of perceived social support in mediating the effects of the background variables.
16464 adolescents aged 14-16 participated the School Health Promotion Study, a survey about health, health behaviour and school behaviour. Depression was measured by the Finnish modification of the 13-item Beck Depression Inventory. Moderate to severe symptoms in this scale were recorded as depression.
Depression was associated with family structure in both sexes. Among girls, having moved recently and low parental education increased the risk for depression, among boys, unemployment in the family. Accumulating number of discontinuities in life course increased the proportion of the depressed among both girls and boys. Perceived lack of social support had the same effect. Lack of support did not explain the effect on depression of the discontinuities in life course.
To detect risk groups for adolescent depressive disorders, health services should pay attention to adolescents who have experienced life changes. Perceived social support should be enquired.
The objective of the present study was to assess alexithymia by means of the Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20) and The Emotion Protocol (EP) in a group of refugees. Eighty-six subjects were willing to participate. At last follow-up, 33 non-PTSD and 22 PTSD subjects had complete data. Subjects with PTSD had higher scores on the TAS-20 (F = 4.314, df = 77, p = 0.041), but on the subscale level, this was significant only with regard to Factor I, difficulties identifying feelings (F = 5.316, df = 77, p = 0.024). TAS Factor I and to a lower extent TAS Factor II (difficulties naming feelings) were significantly associated with the self-rated presence of dysphoric affects. At follow-up, an increase in TAS Factor I score was associated with increased prevalence of self-rated symptoms of PTSD, but not depression. Decrease in prolactin was associated with significant increase of TAS Factor I (rho = -0.396, n = 54, p = 0.003). The present study indicates that alexithymia as measured by TAS-20 is indeed associated with symptoms of PTSD. This association is almost exclusively explained by the TAS Factor I subscale and is in turn associated with a high level of self-reported dysphoric affect. The longitudinal inverse correlation with prolactin points to the possibility of an underlying disturbance in serotonergic and/or dopaminergic systems. The results thus indicate that secondary, or post-traumatic, alexithymia is a measure of suppressed or warded-off negative affects.
Early diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease (AD) is critical for adequate treatment and care. Recently it has been shown that functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) can be important in preclinical detection of AD. The purpose of this study was to examine possible differences in memory-related brain activation between persons with high versus low risk for AD. This was achieved by combining a validated neurocognitive screening battery (the 7-minutes test) with memory assessment and fMRI.
One hundred two healthy community-living persons with subjective memory complaints were recruited through advertisement and tested with the 7-minutes test. Based on their test performance they were classified as having either high (n = 8) or low risk (n = 94) for AD. Six high-risk individuals and six age-, sex-, and education-matched low-risk individuals were investigated with fMRI while engaged in episodic memory tasks.
The high-risk individuals performed worse than low-risk individuals on tests of episodic memory. Patterns of brain activity during episodic encoding and retrieval showed significant group differences (p
The establishment of crisis resolution teams (CRTs) is part of the national mental health policy in several Western countries. The purpose of the present study is to describe characteristics of CRTs and their patients, explore the differences between CRTs, and examine whether the CRTs in Norway are organized according to the international CRT model.
The study was a naturalistic study of eight CRTs and 680 patients referred to these teams in Norway. Mental health problems were assessed using the Health of the Nation Outcome Scales (HoNOS), Global Assessment of Functioning Scales (GAF) and the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems, 10th Revision (ICD-10).
None of the CRTs operated 24 hours a day, seven days a week (24/7 availability) or had gate-keeping functions for acute wards. The CRTs also treated patients who were not considered for hospital admission. Forty per cent of patients waited more than 24 hours for treatment. Fourteen per cent had psychotic symptoms, and 69% had affective symptoms. There were significant variations between teams in patients' total severity of symptoms and social problems, but no variations between teams with respect to patients' aggressive behaviour, non-accidental self-injury, substance abuse or psychotic symptoms. There was a tendency for teams operating extended hours to treat patients with more severe mental illnesses.
The CRT model has been implemented in Norway without a rapid response, gate-keeping function and 24/7 availability. These findings indicate that the CRTs do not completely fulfil their intended role in the mental health system.
The 1990s witnessed Supreme Court decisions in both Canada and the United States on issues of competence that went against longstanding case law, psychological research, and common sense. These decisions held that there is to be one standard for all types of criminal competencies. The present research attempts to investigate whether this is an appropriate assumption and thus tests whether there are one or more constructs that underlie different types of competence. Two divergent types of competence were examined, competence to stand trial (both Canadian and American conceptualizations) and competence to consent to treatment, to determine if these different types of competence share a common underlying construct. Confirmatory factor analysis was used to test this question and results indicate that there is a common construct that underlies different types of competence.