Background: Sense of competence in dementia care staff (SCIDS) may be associated with more positive attitudes to dementia among care staff and better outcomes for those being cared for. There is a need for a reliable and valid measure of sense of competence specific to dementia care staff. This study describes the development and evaluation of a measure to assess "sense of competence" in dementia care staff and reports on its psychometric properties.
Methods: The systematic measure development process involved care staff and experts. For item selection and assessment of psychometric properties, a pilot study (N = 37) and a large-scale study (N = 211) with a test-retest reliability (N = 58) sub-study were undertaken.
Results: The final measure consists of 17 items across four subscales with acceptable to good internal consistency and moderate to substantial test-retest reliability. As predicted, the measure was positively associated with work experience, job satisfaction, and person-centered approaches to dementia care, giving a first indication for its validity.
Conclusions: The SCIDS scale provides a useful and user-friendly means of measuring sense of competence in care staff. It has been developed using a robust process and has adequate psychometric properties. Further exploration of the construct and the scale's validity is warranted. It may be useful to assess the impact of training and perceived abilities and skills in dementia care.