Validity and reliability of the Family Empowerment Scale for caregivers of adults with mental health issues


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Abstract

Accessible summaryWhat is known on the subject?Empowerment of family caregivers of adults with mental health issues has received increasing attention among mental health nurses in Japan and has been recognized as a new goal of family interventions.The Family Empowerment Scale (FES) was originally developed to measure the empowerment status of parents of children with emotional disorders. However, it was later applied to broader health issues.What this paper adds to existing knowledge?We developed a Japanese version of the FES for family caregivers of adults with mental health issues (FES-AMJ) and examined the validity and reliability among parents. Results showed that the FES-AMJ had acceptable concurrent validity and reliability; however, insufficient construct validity was found, especially for the subscale regarding the service system.What are the implications for practice?Further studies need to modify the scale. Clarification of ideal family empowerment status in the service system through discussion with mental health nurses and family caregivers may be important.Introduction:The Family Empowerment Scale (FES) was originally developed for parents of children with emotional disorders. In Japan, family empowerment is gaining increasing attention and may be one goal of nursing interventions.Aim:To develop a Japanese version of the FES for family caregivers of adults with mental health issues and to study the validity and reliability of this scale among parents.Method:We translated the FES into Japanese and administered this self-report questionnaire to 275 parents.Results:The multitrait scaling analysis revealed acceptable convergent validity and insufficient discriminant validity among all subscales. In particular, all items of the Service system subscale had insufficient discriminant and/or convergent validity. Each subscale significantly correlated with the indicator of empowerment. The intraclass correlation coefficients of each subscale were .855–.917. Cronbach's alpha of each factor ranged from .867 to .895.Discussion:The Service system subscale may not linearly reflect family empowerment, and instead may depend on unclear roles of family caregivers of adults, disorder severity or insufficient services.Implications for practice:Further studies need to modify the scale. Clarification of ideal family empowerment status in the service system through discussion with mental health nurses and family caregivers may be important.

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