How Reliable are Selected Scales from Population-based Health Surveys? An Analysis Among Seniors
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The objective of the study was to assess the internal consistency and test-retest reliability of selected scales from four national and provincial surveys used to study the health status of community-dwelling seniors. Items on physical impairment, psychological well-being, activities of daily living, chronic health problems, social support, and stressful life events were selected from these surveys and administered in a group of 1,054 seniors, aged 65 and over, living in Wellington County, Ontario. Each scale exhibited high internal consistency (Cronbach's alpha > or = 0.70) except for the stressful life events and social support scales. The intra-class coefficients (rho) for all scales were > 0.80. In addition, almost all single items measures used in this study also exhibited high test-retest reliability (kappa > 0.80) except for measures of perceived health status (kappa = 0.69) and availability of help in crisis situation (kappa = 0.48).