Development of the Risk Appraisal Measure: A Brief Screen to Identify Risk Areas and Guide Interventions for Dementia Caregivers

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To develop and validate a brief screening measure for use in research, healthcare, and community settings to systematically assess well-being and identify needed areas of support for caregivers of patients with dementia.


This study used data from Resources for Enhancing Alzheimer's Caregiver Health (REACH II), a multisite randomized clinical trial of a behavioral intervention designed to improve the quality of life of caregivers in multiple domains.




Two hundred twelve Hispanic, 211 black, and 219 white family caregivers providing in-home care to patients with dementia.


Based on conceptual and psychometric analyses, a 16-item measure was developed that assesses six domains linked to caregiver risk and amenable to intervention: depression, burden, self-care and health behaviors, social support, safety, and patient problem behaviors. The reliability and validity of the instrument was evaluated with 642 dementia caregiver dyads from the REACH II program.


The measure was found to have acceptable internal consistency for a multidimensional scale and similar measurement properties for each of the racial and ethnic groups. Concurrent validity was also demonstrated for the measure.


The REACH Risk Appraisal Measure developed in this study shows promise as an assessment tool that can be used in research, clinical, and community settings to guide, prioritize, and target needed areas of support for caregivers of patients with dementia.

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