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Papers of the Week

2022 Dec

Eur J Ageing



Measuring relatives’ perceptions of end-of-life communication with physicians in five countries: a psychometric analysis.


Koniewski M, Barańska I, Kijowska V, van der Steen JT, Wichmann AB, Payne S, Gambassi G, Van Den Noortgate N, Finne-Soveri H, Smets T, Van den Block L, Szczerbińska K
Eur J Ageing. 2022 Dec; 19(4):1561-1570.
PMID: 36506660.


(FPPFC) was developed to assess quality of physician-family end-of-life communication in nursing homes. However, its validity has been tested only in the USA and the Netherlands. The aim of this paper is to evaluate the FPPFC construct validity and its reliability, as well as the psychometric characteristics of the items comprising the scale. Data were collected in cross-sectional study in Belgium, Finland, Italy, the Netherlands and Poland. The factorial structure was tested in confirmatory factor analysis. Item parameters were obtained using an item response theory model. Participants were 737 relatives of nursing home residents who died up to 3 months prior to the study. In general, the FPPFC scale proved to be a unidimensional and reliable measure of the perceived quality of physician-family communication in nursing home settings in all five countries. Nevertheless, we found unsatisfactory fit to the data with a confirmatory model. An item that referred to advance care planning performed less well in Poland and Italy than in the Northern European countries. In the item analysis, we found that with no loss of reliability and with increased coherency of the item content across countries, the full 7-item version can be shortened to a 4-item version, which may be more appropriate for international studies. Therefore, we recommend use of the brief 4-item FPPFC version by nursing home managers and professionals as an evaluation tool, and by researchers for their studies as these four items confer the same meaning across countries.