Validity and reliability of an adolescent and parent rating scale of type 1 diabetes adherence behaviors: the Self-Care Inventory (SCI)

J Pediatr Psychol. 2009 Oct;34(9):999-1007. doi: 10.1093/jpepsy/jsp032. Epub 2009 May 7.


Objective: Accurate assessment of diabetes regimen adherence behaviors in youth is a challenging endeavor and is limited by a paucity of empirically supported measures. The purpose of this research is to further demonstrate the validity and reliability of the Self-Care Inventory (SCI), a youth and parent report measure of adherence with diabetes self-care behaviors. The SCI was chosen given its ease of implementation, applicability to multiple diabetes regimens, and dual parent/youth formats.

Methods: Participants were 164 youth with type 1 diabetes and a parent. Measures were administered at regular office visits to a tertiary care diabetes clinic.

Results: The SCI has strong psychometric properties, including adequate internal consistency, parent-youth agreement, and test-retest agreement. Relations between the SCI and a structured interview of diabetes adherence (the Diabetes Self-Management Profile; DSMP) and hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) were strong.

Conclusions: In addition to demonstrating strong psychometrics, this research provides independent support for the SCI. Thus, the SCI is consistent with recent criteria proposed by Quittner et al. (Journal of Pediatric Psychology, 33, 916-936) for an empirically supported measure of regimen adherence. Although other methods of accessing adherence may provide more comprehensive assessments, the brevity, ease-of-implementation, and robustness for multiple regimens makes the SCI an ideal tool for clinicians and researchers.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living / psychology
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Attitude to Health
  • Child
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / psychology*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / therapy
  • Female
  • Health Behavior
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Parent-Child Relations
  • Parents / psychology
  • Patient Compliance / psychology*
  • Patient Selection
  • Quality of Life / psychology
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Self Care / psychology*
  • Self-Assessment
  • Surveys and Questionnaires