Bath grab bars can minimize the effects of many age-related deficits that may contribute to bath-related falls. Despite their potential value, bathroom safety devices remain largely underutilized by many community-living older adults and knowledge concerning attitudinal factors that influence the use of grab bars is sparse. This void of knowledge is due, at least in part, to the lack of instruments to measure the psychosocial constructs influencing bathroom safety device use.
This study examined the psychometric properties of a newly developed Grab Bar Use Attitude scale (GUAS). Instrument formation, including item generation, evaluation by a panel of experts, and pilot testing of the draft instrument to establish its face and content validity, was followed by instrument validation using 546 community-living seniors.
Results of principal components analysis of the GUAS revealed a two-factor solution, explaining 56% of the variance. The two constructs may best be described as functional/safety and psychosocial consequences of using grab bars. Psychometric analyses of the 9-item scale provided empirical evidence of the internal consistency of the total scale and each subscale. Finally, the GUAS distinguished between regular grab bar users and nonregular users. Implications for use are discussed.