Testing two self-care-related instruments among older home-dwelling people in Norway

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Older persons’ ability and agency for self-care is an important issue. Therefore, the development of reliable and valid instruments to measure self-care with regard to both clinical nursing practice and personal health is important for nursing research and practice.

Aim and objective.

To test reliability and validity of the Norwegian versions of the two self-care-related instruments, the Self-care Ability Scale for the Elderly (SASE) and the Nutritional Form For the Elderly (NUFFE) among older home-dwelling individuals.


A postal questionnaire that contained these instruments, background variables, health-related questions and two other self-care-related instruments was completed by a randomised sample of 158 older persons in southern Norway. Reliability was assessed as internal consistency and validity as concurrent and construct validity.


SASE reached a Cronbach’s alpha coefficient of 0.85 and significant Spearman’s rank correlations for 16 of 17 items. For NUFFE, a Cronbach’s alpha coefficient of 0.64 was obtained and significant correlations for 13 of 15 items. Validity was supported for both instruments. An appropriate cut-off was found for SASE. For NUFFE, a low cut-off point was obtained.


SASE was shown to have sufficient psychometric properties and can be used in research and clinical practice among older persons.

Implications for practice.

The psychometric properties of NUFFE can be assessed as sufficient, but further studies are needed regarding the cut-off point.

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