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Palliat Support Care. 2015 Oct;13(5):1391-8. doi: 10.1017/S1478951515000139. Epub 2015 Feb 11.

Confirmatory factor analysis of the Frommelt Attitude Toward Care of the Dying Scale (FATCOD-B) among Italian medical students.

Author information

1
Department of Neuroscience,University of Turin,Turin,Italy.
2
Department of Psychology,University of Turin,Turin,Italy.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

A steady increase in the number of patients requiring end-of-life care has been observed during the last decades. The assessment of healthcare students' attitudes toward end-of-life care is an important step in their curriculum, as it provides information about their disposition to practice palliative medicine. The Frommelt Attitude Toward Care of the Dying Scale (FATCOD-B) was developed to detect such a disposition, but its psychometric properties are yet to be clearly defined.

METHOD:

A convenience sample of 608 second-year medical students participated in our study in the 2012/2013 and 2013/2014 academic years. All participants completed the FATCOD-B. The sample was randomly divided in two subsamples. In the item analysis, reliability (Cronbach's α), internal consistency (item-total correlations), and an exploratory factor analysis (EFA) were conducted using the first subsample (n = 300). Using the second subsample (n = 308), confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) was performed using the robust ML method in the Lisrel program.

RESULTS:

Reliability for all items was 0.699. Item-total correlations, ranging from 0.03 to 0.39, were weak. EFA identified a two-dimensional orthogonal solution, explaining 20% of total variance. CFA upheld the two-dimensional model, but the loadings on the dimensions and their respective indicators were weak and equal to zero for certain items.

SIGNIFICANCE OF RESULTS:

The findings of the present study suggest that the FATCOD-B measures a two-dimensional construct and that several items seem in need of revision. Future research oriented toward building a revised version of the scale should pay attention to item ambiguity and take particular care to distinguish among items that concern emotions and beliefs related to end-of-life care, as well as their subjects (e.g., the healthcare provider, the patient, his family).

KEYWORDS:

Attitudes toward the dying; Confirmatory factor analysis (CFA); FATCOD–B; Item validity; Medical students

PMID:
25670020
DOI:
10.1017/S1478951515000139
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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