Development and Evaluation of an Instrument to Measure Seniors' Attitudes Toward the Use of Bathroom Grab Bars

Authors

  • Donna Lockett,

    1. Donna Lockett is a Research Associate in the Community Health Research Unit and Nancy Edwards is an Associate Professor in the School of Nursing, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. Faranak Aminzadeh is an Assessor in the Regional Geriatric Assessment Program of Ottawa-Carleton, Ottawa-Carleton, Ontario, Canada.
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  • Faranak Aminzadeh,

    1. Donna Lockett is a Research Associate in the Community Health Research Unit and Nancy Edwards is an Associate Professor in the School of Nursing, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. Faranak Aminzadeh is an Assessor in the Regional Geriatric Assessment Program of Ottawa-Carleton, Ottawa-Carleton, Ontario, Canada.
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  • Nancy Edwards

    1. Donna Lockett is a Research Associate in the Community Health Research Unit and Nancy Edwards is an Associate Professor in the School of Nursing, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. Faranak Aminzadeh is an Assessor in the Regional Geriatric Assessment Program of Ottawa-Carleton, Ottawa-Carleton, Ontario, Canada.
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Donna Lockett, Ph.D., Community Health Research Unit, University of Ottawa, 451 Smyth Road, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, K1H 8M5. E-mail: dlockett@zeus.med.uottawa.ca

Abstract

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.

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