• care dependency scale;
  • long-term care;
  • validation

• This paper describes the results of a study determining construct validity aspects of the Nursing Care Dependency (NCD) Scale.

• This 15-item instrument has been developed recently for the assessment of the care dependency of dementia or learning-disabled inpatients.

• Data was collected for 450 dementia and 203 learning-disabled patients using the NCD instrument.

• Factor analysis of the NCD instrument resulted in one Factor. With Mokken scale analysis an H-coefficient of 0.75 was found, which implied a strong hierarchical scale.

• Cronbach's α coefficients (0.97) were high enough to use the NCD instrument in clinical practice, at both group and individual levels.