Because the interpersonal skills of individuals with dementia often decline, family members may question their own ability to interact meaningfully. These family members may experience fear of incompetence (i.e., fear of being unable to relate in a meaningful way or take care of a close family member with dementia). Thus, the goal of this research was to develop, refine, and psychometrically validate a scale (Fear of Incompetence - Dementia Scale; FOI-D) assessing fear of incompetence in the context of relationships with a close family member diagnosed with dementia. Three online studies were conducted to accomplish the primary objective. In Study One, the factor structure of the FOI-D was assessed by conducting an exploratory factor analysis using data from 710 adults who indicated having a close living family member who had been diagnosed with dementia. In Study Two, the factor structure was validated via a confirmatory factor analysis and the psychometric properties were established using data from 636 adults who had a family member with dementia. Finally, Study Three determined the temporal consistency of the scale by retesting 58 participants from Study Two. The results from Study One indicated that the FOI-D Scale accounted for 51.75% of the variance and was comprised of three subscales: the Interaction Concerns subscale, the Caregiving Concerns subscale, and the Knowledge Concerns subscale. In Study Two, the three-factor structure was supported, resulting in a 58-item scale. Investigation of the psychometric properties demonstrated the FOI-D to be reliable and valid. In Study Three, the FOI-D Scale demonstrated excellent temporal consistency. This research provides future investigators, educators, and practitioners with an adaptable comprehensive tool assessing fear of incompetence in a variety of settings.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The second author received partial support for conducting this research from the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh Faculty Development Board, in the form of a small research grant (FDM 357).