Background: Person-centered care is increasingly regarded as being synonymous with best quality care. However, the concept and its precise meaning is a subject of debate and reliable and valid measurement tools are lacking.
Method: This article describes the development and initial testing of a new self-report assessment scale, the Person-centered Care Assessment Tool (P-CAT), which measures the extent to which long-term aged care staff rate their settings to be person-centered. A preliminary 39-item tool generated from research literature, expert consultations and research interviews with aged care staff (n = 37), people with early onset dementia (n = 11), and family members (n = 19) was distributed to a sample of Australian aged care staff (n = 220) and subjected to item analysis and reduction.
Results: Psychometric evaluation of the final 13-item tool was conducted using statistical estimates of validity and reliability. The results showed that the P-CAT was shown to be valid and homogeneous by factor, item and content analyses. Cronbach's alpha was satisfactory for the total scale (0.84), and the three subscales had values of 0.81, 0.77, and 0.31 respectively. Test-retest reliability were evaluated (n = 26) and all analyses indicated satisfactory estimates.
Conclusion: This study provides preliminary evidence in support of the psychometric properties of the P-CAT when used in an Australian sample of long-term aged care staff. The tool contributes to the literature by making it possible to study person-centered care in relation to health outcomes, organizational models, characteristics and levels of staffing, degrees of care needs among residents, and impact of interventions.