Purpose: End-of-life caregiving experiences can be complex. Family members experience physical and mental suffering as they anticipate their impending loss. Healthcare providers should be able to provide good quality of end-of-life (EOL) care and support for primary EOL caregivers. Studies have highlighted the role of healthcare providers providing information in the EOL situation to caregivers of chronic disease patients. This has resulted in the development of the End-of-life Caregiving Experience Appraisal Scale (EOLCAS) presented in this paper. The purposes of this study were to develop a scale that can evaluate the experiences of EOL caregivers, and to test the reliability and validity of this scale. Methods: The scale domains were derived from systematic review of 35 relevant studies. We then examined its content validity with nurse scholars and clinicians using content validity index. To examine construct validity, a total of 175 caregivers from tertiary hospital setting in Korea participated in this study from December 2007 to May 2008. For the construct validity, factor analysis was utilized. Results: The scale was composed of 32 items with four subscales: two negative appraisals (physical suffering and burden), one positive appraisal (maturation), and one neutral appraisal (social support pursuit). In this sample, the Cronbach's alpha for the entire scale was .84 indicating adequate reliability. However, Cronbach's alpha of subscales was varied. Conclusion: Nurses and other healthcare professionals could use the EOLCAS to assess the experiences of EOL caregivers to understand their experience in the EOL and enhance their quality of life although psychometrics of EOLCAS shows limited findings.
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