Evaluation of the psychometric properties of the perceived health competence scale in elderly African American populations
Dr. Mary J. Polchert, RN, PhD
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Previous research supports that the eight item Perceived Health Competence Scale (PHCS) is a reliable measurement tool to understand individual competency beliefs of health management ability. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the psychometric properties of the PHCS in elderly African Americans because the tool had not been used in this population. It is known that health status predicts health competence beliefs. The sample consisted of 88 elderly African Americans (78% female, with a mean age of 75) who attended noon meals served in an established urban Midwestern community program. Cronbach's alpha reliability of the PHCS total scale was 0.65, below the previously reported 0.82-0.90, and factor analysis revealed two distinct subscales. The subscales separated competency beliefs about behaviors and outcomes which had not been previously reported within the United States. The two subscales that emerged delineated four positively worded items about behaviors and four negatively worded items about outcomes. Validation of the PHCS revealed two significant relationships for the subscale Perceptions of Health Competence beliefs about behaviors (PHC-Behaviors) within this elderly African American sample. There were statistically significant moderate positive correlations between (1) individual perceptions of ability to access health services and competency beliefs about performing health behaviors and (2) individual perceptions of health status and competency beliefs about performing health behaviors. General health status perceptions and perceived barriers to health services were not influenced by age or gender. However, elderly African American women felt more competent about their ability to achieve desired health outcomes compared to elderly African American men. These findings support that those who feel their health is good, feel more competent about performing desired health behaviors and women feel more competent about achieving desired health outcomes. This study contributes evidence for all health care providers that the PHCS is a tool that enhances measurement and communication to understand the individual perspective in health behavior change process. The PHCS is a vital component in chronic illness management and health promotion programs to strategically plan health care resource utilization for elderly African American populations who are at risk for poor health outcomes.
This dissertation has also been disseminated through the ProQuest Dissertations and Theses database. Dissertation/thesis number: 3244159; ProQuest document ID: 304981292. The author still retains copyright.
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