Psychometric Validation of an Instrument to Measure Family Coping During a Child’s Hospitalization for Cancer

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Abstract

Background:

Families with children hospitalized for cancer treatment experience multiple, serious challenges. Family coping is a crucial moderator between family stress and family adaptation. A newly developed instrument, the Hospitalization Coping Scale (HCS), measures the effectiveness of family coping during a child’s hospitalization.

Objective:

The aims of this study were to revise and validate the psychometric properties of the HCS for families with children hospitalized for cancer treatment in pediatric oncology departments in Mainland China.

Methods:

Psychometric properties of the HCS were examined among 253 families with children hospitalized in pediatric oncology departments in 4 hospitals. Reliability, construct validity, known-group validity, and concurrent validity of the revised HCS were examined.

Results:

The revised 15-item HCS contains 3 renamed factors: maintaining mental stability, mutual support for child care, and seeking support from external systems. Cronbach’s α coefficients for the total and 3 factors were .87, .78, .83, and .79, respectively. The revised scale demonstrated sound known-group validity and concurrent validity.

Conclusions:

The revised 15-item HCS is a reliable and valid instrument to measure coping effectiveness of families with children hospitalized for cancer treatment.

Implications for Practice:

The HCS can be used by pediatric oncology nurses to assess the effectiveness of family coping during a hospitalization of their child with cancer and may help pediatric oncology nurses to develop and implement realistic support strategies based on assessments of family coping effectiveness.

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