Factor analysis and internal consistency evaluation of the FAMCARE scale for use in the long-term care setting

Palliat Support Care. 2010 Jun;8(2):169-76. doi: 10.1017/S1478951509990927. Epub 2010 Mar 24.


Objective: The FAMCARE Scale was originally designed to measure family satisfaction with advanced cancer care. The current study evaluated the instrument's psychometric qualities when used in the long-term care (LTC) setting.

Method: In a prospective cohort study in 2004, the 20-item instrument was administered via telephone to family members of 51 patients receiving LTC in Veterans Affairs facilities. Satisfaction scores on a 5-point Likert scale were used for factor analysis and internal consistency evaluation.

Results: Although 16 patients were in geriatric palliative care and 35 were in nursing home care, scores of their family members did not vary based on care unit. The total satisfaction score was high, with a mean (SD) of 44.7 (11.9) and a Cronbach alpha of 0.94. Inter-item correlations were low for care availability items (range, 0.01-0.59). Two items-availability of a hospital bed and availability of nurses to the family-had low eigenvalues (0.26 and 0.18, respectively) and weak correlations with the total score (0.23 and 0.16, respectively).

Significance of results: In the LTC setting, FAMCARE appears to have good internal consistency, but it may be preferable to exclude the two items with weak correlations and to use a 10-point visual analog scale.

Publication types

  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Attitude to Health*
  • Factor Analysis, Statistical
  • Family / psychology*
  • Female
  • Geriatrics / standards
  • Health Care Surveys
  • Hospital Units / standards
  • Hospitals, Veterans
  • Humans
  • Long-Term Care / psychology
  • Long-Term Care / standards
  • Male
  • Neoplasms* / therapy
  • New England
  • Nursing Homes / standards
  • Palliative Care* / psychology
  • Palliative Care* / standards
  • Principal Component Analysis
  • Psychometrics
  • Quality Assurance, Health Care
  • Surveys and Questionnaires / standards*