Background: Person-centered care is increasingly regarded as being synonymous with best quality care. However, the concept and its precise meaning is a subject of debate and reliable and valid measurement tools are lacking.
Method: This article describes the development and initial testing of a new self-report assessment scale, the Person-centered Care Assessment Tool (P-CAT), which measures the extent to which long-term aged care staff rate their settings to be person-centered. A preliminary 39-item tool generated from research literature, expert consultations and research interviews with aged care staff (n = 37), people with early onset dementia (n = 11), and family members (n = 19) was distributed to a sample of Australian aged care staff (n = 220) and subjected to item analysis and reduction.
Results: Psychometric evaluation of the final 13-item tool was conducted using statistical estimates of validity and reliability. The results showed that the P-CAT was shown to be valid and homogeneous by factor, item and content analyses. Cronbach's α was satisfactory for the total scale (0.84), and the three subscales had values of 0.81, 0.77, and 0.31 respectively. Test–retest reliability were evaluated (n = 26) and all analyses indicated satisfactory estimates.
Conclusion: This study provides preliminary evidence in support of the psychometric properties of the P-CAT when used in an Australian sample of long-term aged care staff. The tool contributes to the literature by making it possible to study person-centered care in relation to health outcomes, organizational models, characteristics and levels of staffing, degrees of care needs among residents, and impact of interventions.