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European Journal of Ageing

, Volume 14, Issue 3, pp 257–268 | Cite as

Older adults’ preferences for formal social support of autonomy and dependence in pain: development and validation of a scale

  • Sónia F. Bernardes
  • Marta Matos
  • Liesbet Goubert
Original Investigation

Abstract

Chronic pain among older adults is common and often disabling. Pain-related formal social support (e.g., provided by staff at day-care centers, nursing homes), and the extent to which it promotes functional autonomy or dependence, plays a significant role in the promotion of older adults’ ability to engage in their daily activities. Assessing older adults’ preferences for pain-related social support for functional autonomy or dependence could contribute to increase formal social support responsiveness to individuals’ needs. Therefore, this study aimed at developing and validating the preferences for formal social support of autonomy and dependence in pain inventory (PFSSADI). One hundred and sixty-five older adults with chronic musculoskeletal pain (M age = 79.1, 67.3% women), attending day-care centers, completed the PFSSADI, the revised formal social support for autonomy and dependence in pain inventory, and a measure of desire for (in)dependence; the PFSSADI was filled out again 6 weeks later. Confirmatory factor analyses showed a structure of two correlated factors (r = .56): (a) preferences for autonomy support (α = .99) and (b) preferences for dependence support (α = .98). The scale showed good test–retest reliability, sensitivity and discriminant and concurrent validity; the higher the preferences for dependence support, the higher the desire for dependence (r = .33) and the lower the desire for independence (r = −.41). The PFSSADI is an innovative tool, which may contribute to explore the role of pain-related social support responsiveness on the promotion of older adults’ functional autonomy when in pain.

Keywords

Pain Social support preferences Functional autonomy/dependence Older adults Scale development and validation 

Notes

Acknowledgements

We would like to thank Prof. Helena Carvalho for her help with statistics. This study was partially funded by Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia (SFRH/BD/79145/2011). We declare that there were no financial or other relationships that lead to conflicts of interest in the development of this research.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sónia F. Bernardes
    • 1
    • 2
  • Marta Matos
    • 1
    • 2
  • Liesbet Goubert
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Social and Organizational PsychologyInstituto Universitário de Lisboa (ISCTE-IUL)LisbonPortugal
  2. 2.Centro de Investigação e Intervenção Social (CIS-IUL)LisbonPortugal
  3. 3.Department of Experimental-Clinical and Health PsychologyGhent UniversityGhentBelgium

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