The life closure scale: Additional psychometric testing of a tool to measure psychological adaptation in death and dying


  • Marjorie C. Dobratz

    Corresponding author
    1. University of Washington, Tacoma, WA
    • University of Washington, Tacoma, Box 358421, Tacoma, WA 98402-3100.
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    • Professor.

    • Program Director, Nursing.

  • This study was partially supported by a US Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, National Research Service Award (No. 1531NR06435)


The purpose of this study was to conduct additional psychometric testing on an instrument designed to measure psychological adaptation in end-of-life populations across a wide spectrum of terminal illnesses. A sample of 20 participants completed initial testing of the Life Closure Scale (LCS); however, its usefulness was limited by the small sample size. A larger sample of 113 home hospice individuals who met established criteria and who gave informed consent completed the 27-item LCS for additional psychometric testing. Cronbach's alphas and correlation coefficients were computed, and factor analysis was conducted to establish internal consistency reliability, theoretical clarity, and criterion-related validity. The number of scale items was reduced to 20, with a total alpha of .87. Cronbach's alphas for the two subscales were .80 (self-reconciled) and .82 (self-restructuring). Item–total correlations for the subscales ranged from a low of .37 to a high of .68, with confirmatory factor analysis yielding two loadings. These findings lend credence to the usefulness of the LCS in measuring psychological adaptation in dying persons. © 2004 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Res Nurs Health 27:52–62, 2004