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09-09-2015 | Uitgave 4/2016 Open Access

Quality of Life Research 4/2016

Development and validation of a questionnaire assessing the perceived control in health care among older adults with care needs in the Netherlands

Quality of Life Research > Uitgave 4/2016
L. Claassens, C. B. Terwee, D. J. H. Deeg, M. I. Broese van Groenou, G. A. M. Widdershoven, M. Huisman



In response to the increased emphasis placed on older people’s self-reliance in many welfare societies, we aimed to develop and validate a measurement instrument, assessing perceived control in health care among older adults with care needs. The target group consists of older people who live (semi-)independently and use professional health care, with or without informal care.


Phase I (development) of the study consisted of the construction of the instrument based on the input from a variety of stakeholders. Phase II (validation) entailed a quantitative study in a sample of 247 respondents selected from the Longitudinal Aging Study Amsterdam, to assess the instrument’s construct validity (structural validity and hypotheses testing) and reliability (internal consistency).


The questionnaire consists of 29 items, related to organizing professional care, communication with care professionals, health management in the home situation, planning (more) complex care in the future, and perceived support from the social network. Based on a factor analysis, we identified three subscales: (I.) ‘perceived personal control in health care’; (II.) ‘anticipated personal control regarding future health care’; and (III.) ‘perceived support from the social network,’ with internal consistencies varying from Cronbach’s α = .71 to .90. Factor I was associated with mastery, self-efficacy, self-esteem (r = .31–.35) and factor III with social loneliness (r = −.42). Factor II correlated less strongly with mastery, self-efficacy, and self-esteem (r < .30).


Our questionnaire revealed sufficient construct validity and internal consistency. The instrument provides a basis for further quantitative research regarding control, especially in relation to health care-related outcomes.

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