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Hosp J. 1990;6(3):1-15.

The Life Closure Scale: a measure of psychological adaptation in death and dying.


The Life Closure Scale (LCS) is a measure of the multidimensions of psychological adaptation during the dying process and was developed in two phases. The first phase of instrument construction was based on a retroductive method utilizing: theoretical and empirical sources, a small qualitative study and analysis of concept definitions. Three subscales identifying dimensions of psychological processes and patterns of adaptation were defined: the self-reconciled, self-restructuring, and self-closing. A corrected content validity of .83 was established by a panel of experts. The LCS scale of 45 items was devised into a 5 point Likert scale with responses from 1 (not at all) to 5 (most of the time). Phase two began a study, with 45 hospice subjects, to determine internal consistency reliability and construct validity. On preliminary testing with 20 subjects, the self-closing subscale was found to interrelate with the other two subscales. An intercorrelation of r = -.10 defined the presence of two independent subscales: the self-reconciled and the self-restructuring. Internal consistency reliability coefficients of a = .85 for the self-reconciled subscale and a = .86 for the self-restructuring subscale. Construct validity is reported for the LCS. A Pearson correlation coefficient of r = .75 was found between the LCS and the convergent measure of quality of life and an r = -.60 substantiated discriminant validity with a depression tool. Plans for tool development include further testing.

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