Construct Validity of the Work Productivity and Activity Impairment Questionnaire across Informal Caregivers of Chronically Ill Older Patients

Authors


Jennifer L. Wolff, Department of Health Policy and Management, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, 624 N. Broadway, Room 692, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA. E-mail: jwolff@jhsph.edu

ABSTRACT

Objectives:  To assess the validity of the Work Productivity and Activity Impairment questionnaire as adapted for caregiving (WPAI:CG) to measure productivity loss (hours missed from work, impairment while at work, and impairment in regular activities) due to unpaid caregiving for medically complex older adults.

Methods:  The WPAI:CG was administered along with the Caregiver Strain Index (CSI) and Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CESD) to a caregiving population (N = 308) enrolled with their older, medically complex care-recipient in a cluster-randomized controlled study. Correlation coefficients were calculated between each productivity variable derived from the WPAI:CG and CSI/CESD scores. Nonparametric tests for trend across ordered groups were carried out to examine the relationship between each productivity variable and the intensity of the caregiving.

Results:  Significant positive correlations were found between work productivity loss and caregiving-related strain (r = 0.45) and depression (r = 0.30). Measures of productivity loss were also highly associated with caregiving intensity (P < 0.05) and care-recipient medical care use (P < 0.05). The average employed caregiver reported 1.5 hours absence from work in the previous week and 18.5% reduced productivity while at work due to caregiving. Employed and nonemployed caregivers reported 27.2% reduced productivity in regular activities in the previous week.

Conclusion:  The results indicate high convergent validity of the WPAI:CG questionnaire. This measure could facilitate research on the cost-effectiveness of caregiver-workplace interventions and provide employers and policy experts with a more accurate and comprehensive estimate of caregiving-related costs incurred by employers and society.

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