ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202208.0176.v1
Subject: Behavioral Sciences, General Psychology Keywords: psychological distress/anxiety/depression; dementia; Alzheimer’s disease; Parkinson’s disease; short form of the Depression Anxiety Stress Scale 21; Depression Anxiety Stress Scale 8-items; factor structure; psychometric properties; structural validity; validation; measurement invariance; old age/elders/elderly; informal; family caregivers; spouse; adult children
Online: 9 August 2022 (08:44:11 CEST)
Dementia patients express a set of problematic and deteriorating symptoms, along self-care dependency. Overtime, the mental health of family caregivers of persons with dementia may suffer, putting them at a high risk for psychopathology, which may be associated with endangered wellbeing of demented people. This cross-sectional study examined the psychometric properties of the Depression Anxiety Stress Scale 8-items (DASS-8), DASS-12, DASS-21 in a convenient sample of 571 caregivers from northern Italy and southern Switzerland (Mean age = 53, SD = 12, range = 24–89 years). A bifactor structure of the three measures had the best fit; some items of the DASS-12/DASS-21 failed to load on their domain-specific factors. The three-factor structure was invariant across various groups (e.g., gender, education, etc.), expressed adequate reliability and convergent validity, and had strong positive correlation with the 3-item UCLA Loneliness Scale (UCLALS3). Dementia type had no effect on distress scores, which were higher among females, adult children caregivers, those caring for dependent patients, and those who received help with care. For 54.9 and 38.8% of the latter, care was provided by relatives and health professionals, respectively. Since the DASS-8 expresses adequate psychometrics comparable with the DASS-21, it may be used as a brief measure of distress in this population.