Background. The importance of the present study lies in addressing whether it is justified to compare the care dependency status of older patients from different settings and cultures using the same instrument.
Aim. The aim of this international study was to compare the psychometric properties of the Care Dependency Scale (CDS) by analysing data gathered in Finland, Spain and the United Kingdom (UK).
Method. The Finnish, Spanish and UK research instruments were translations of the original Dutch CDS. Psychometric evaluations of this were carried out for each country separately as well as for the three countries combined, based on a convenience sample of 378 older patients.
Results. High alpha coefficients between 0·94 and 0·97 were obtained. Subsequent test–retest and interrater reliability revealed moderate to almost perfect kappa values.
Conclusion. One of the main outcomes of the international comparison was that the findings between the three countries showed more similarities than differences in psychometric assessment, indicating that the CDS can be used for care dependency assessment in different countries.