Background: Positive psychology research in dementia care has largely been confined to the qualitative literature because of the lack of robust outcome measures. The aim of this study was to develop positive psychology outcome measures for people with dementia.
Methods: Two measures were each developed in four stages. Firstly, literature reviews were conducted to identify and operationalise salient positive psychology themes in the qualitative literature and to examine existing measures of positive psychology. Secondly, themes were discussed within a qualitative study to add content validity for identified concepts (n = 17). Thirdly, draft measures were submitted to a panel of experts for feedback (n = 6). Finally, measures were used in a small-scale pilot study (n = 33) to establish psychometric properties.
Results: Salient positive psychology themes were identified as hope, resilience, a sense of independence and social engagement. Existing measures of hope and resilience were adapted to form the Positive Psychology Outcome Measure (PPOM). Due to the inter-relatedness of independence and engagement for people with dementia, 28 items were developed for a new scale of Engagement and Independence in Dementia Questionnaire (EID-Q) following extensive qualitative work. Both measures demonstrated acceptable internal consistency (α = .849 and α = .907 respectively) and convergent validity.
Conclusions: Two new positive psychology outcome measures were developed using a robust four-stage procedure. Preliminary psychometric data was adequate and the measures were easy to use, and acceptable for people with dementia.
Keywords: Dementia; Hope; Independence; Outcome measure; Positive psychology; Psychometric; Resilience.