Dementia knowledge assessment scale (DKAS): confirmatory factor analysis and comparative subscale scores among an international cohort
Background: Dementia is a life-limiting condition that is increasing in global prevalence in line with population ageing. In this context, it is necessary to accurately measure dementia knowledge across a spectrum of health professional and lay populations with the aim of informing targeted educational interventions and improving literacy, care, and support. Building on prior exploratory analysis, which informed the development of the preliminarily valid and reliable version of the Dementia Knowledge Assessment Scale (DKAS), a Confirmatory Factor Analysis (CFA) was performed to affirm construct validity and proposed subscales to further increase the measure’s utility for academics and educators.
Methods: A large, de novo sample of 3649 volunteer respondents to a dementia-related online course was recruited to evaluate the performance of the DKAS and its proposed subscales. Respondents represented diverse cohorts, including health professionals, students, and members of the general public. Analyses included CFA (using structural equation modelling), measures of internal consistency (α), and non-parametric tests of subscale correlation (Spearman Correlation) and score differences between cohorts (Kruskal-Wallis one-way analysis of variance).
Results: Findings of the CFA supported a 25-item, four-factor model for the DKAS with two items removed due to poor performance and one item moved between factors. The resultant model exhibited good reliability (α = .85; ωh = .87; overall scale), with acceptable subscale internal consistency (α ≥ .65; subscales). Subscales showed acceptable correlation without any indication of redundancy. Finally, total and DKAS subscale scores showed good discrimination between cohorts of respondents who would be anticipated to hold different levels of knowledge on the basis of education or experience related to dementia.
Conclusion: The DKAS has been confirmed as a reliable and valid measure of dementia knowledge for diverse populations that is capable of elucidating knowledge characteristics across four coherent domains: 1) Causes and Characteristics, 2) Communication and Behaviour, 3) Care Considerations, and 4) Risks and Health Promotion. Importantly, the four confirmed subscales clearly distinguish between groups who might be expected to hold differing levels of knowledge about dementia, allowing for a fine-grained level of detail to be established when evaluating baseline understanding or knowledge change associated with educational intervention.
Publication titleBMC Geriatrics
Department/SchoolWicking Dementia Research Education Centre
Place of publicationUnited Kingdom
Rights statementCopyright 2017 The Authors. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/ The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.