The CARES® observational tool: A valid and reliable instrument to assess person-centered dementia care

Joseph E. Gaugler, John V. Hobday, Kay Savik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


The goal of the current study was to develop a valid and reliable tool to measure whether person-centered care is delivered by direct care workers to persons with dementia. Face validity was initially established through multiple revisions of the CARES® Observational Tool (COT™) by members of the study team. Afterward, content validity of the COT was established by piloting the tool on 31 observations across 7 nursing homes and review by an interdisciplinary panel of nine scientific experts. The final 16-item version of the COT was then tested for inter-rater reliability by 5 reviewers across 5 standardized dementia care videos. An intra-class coefficient of all possible Kappa coefficients resulted in an ICC of 77. The brief and easy-to-use COT has potential to assess person-centered care interactions between direct care workers and persons with dementia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)194-198
Number of pages5
JournalGeriatric Nursing
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2013

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by a grant from the National Institute on Aging ( AG023451 ; John V. Hobday, Principal Investigator). Mr. Hobday, creator of the CARES© Observational Tool, is the Chief Executive Officer of HealthCare Interactive Incorporated, the company that has developed and is selling the CARES ® online training programs. Ms. Savik is a Co-Investigator and biostatistician of the National Institute on Aging grant that supported the results presented in this paper. Dr. Gaugler is a scientific consultant with HealthCare Interactive, Incorporated. The authors would like to thank Merrie Kaas, Georgia Lane, Deborah Richman, Ashley Brooks-Danso (dearly departed), Lou Burgio, Deborah Lindgren-Clendenen, Mary Mittelman, Lynne Morishita, Lisa Nelson, Mark Sager, and Stan Smith for their assistance in the measurement development process.


  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Direct care workers
  • Education
  • Nursing homes
  • Online
  • Staff
  • Technology
  • Training


Dive into the research topics of 'The CARES® observational tool: A valid and reliable instrument to assess person-centered dementia care'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this