Aim and objective. To validate the Caring Assessment Report Evaluation Q-sort questionnaire in the residential aged-care setting. Based on this determination, to conclude with what degree of confidence the questionnaire can be used to determine the ranking of the importance of caring behaviours amongst aged-care nurses and residents in residential aged-care.
Background. Perceptions of caring may be context specific. Caring in residential aged-care may stand in contrast to the sense of caring understood and practiced in other settings.
Design. Self-administered survey.
Methods. Residents from three not-for-profit aged-care facilities, across both high-care (nursing-home) and low-care (hostel care) were surveyed relying on the Caring Assessment Report Evaluation Q-sort questionnaire. A sub-sample of registered and enrolled nurses working in residential aged-care and registered with the Nurses & Midwives e-cohort study completed the same survey.
Results. Although the Caring Assessment Report Evaluation Q-sort questionnaire showed good internal consistency for the sample of nurses, the results for the residents were more erratic. Both groups displayed large ranges for the inter-item correlations. The results of the Mann–Whitney U-test indicated that the nurses rated the Comforts, Anticipates and Trusting relationship as significantly more important than the residents. Both groups rated the Explains and facilitates subscale as least important. All subscales, however, received median scores greater than, or equal to, six (seven-point, Likert scale) indicating that all were considered important overall.
Conclusion. Based on poor Cronbach's alpha coefficients, negative inter-item correlations and qualitative observations, without further development within the residential aged-care facility the free response format version of the Caring Assessment Report Evaluation Q-sort may not be an appropriate measure to use with residential aged-care residents. More research needs to be conducted into how residents and nurses are interpreting the items in the Caring Assessment Report Evaluation Q-sort.
Relevance to clinical practice. There will always remain a need for nurses to enact behaviours that are meaningful to residents (and patients generally).