Objectives: Standardized measurement of caregiver stress is a component of Medicare’s new health care benefit supporting care planning for people with dementia. In this article we identify existing measures of caregiver stress, strain and burden and propose specific criteria for choosing tools that may be suitable for wide use in primary care settings. We reviewed 22 measures and identified one, the Kingston Caregiver Stress Scale (KCSS), which met all the proposed criteria but had not been studied in a U.S. sample. We conducted a psychometric evaluation of KCSS to determine its potential usefulness as a care planning tool with a U.S. sample. Methods: We examined the internal consistency, test-retest reliability, component structure, and relationship to depression and anxiety in 227 dementia caregivers at two U.S. sites. Results: The KCSS has high internal consistency and test-retest reliability, a strong factor structure, and moderate to high correlations with caregiver depression and anxiety. Conclusion: KCSS is a good candidate for use as part of comprehensive care planning for people with dementia and their caregivers. Clinical Implications: Routine assessment of caregiver stress in clinical care may facilitate timely intervention and potentially improve both patient and caregiver outcomes.
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© 2017 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.
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