Background: As ageing is a personal experience, an attitude to ageing questionnaire is essential for capturing the most realistic appraisal of this important stage of life. Our aim was to study the psychometric properties of the Attitudes to Ageing Questionnaire (AAQ) in a sample of Spanish older people.
Methods: A total of 242 participants aged 60 years and older were recruited from community centers, primary care centers, and family associations for the mentally ill and dementia. In addition to the AAQ, participants provided information on demographics, self-perception of health, comorbidity, health status (SF-12), depressive symptoms (GDS-30), and quality of life (WHOQOL-BREF and WHOQOL-OLD). Analysis was performed using standard psychometric techniques with SPSS v15.0.
Results: No floor and ceiling effects were found, and missing data were low. The internal consistency measured by Cronbach's alpha for AAQ subscales were 0.59, 0.70, and 0.73. Exploratory Factor Analysis produced a three-factors solution accounting for 34% of the variance. A priori expected associations were found between some AAQ subscales with WHOQOL-BREF domains, with WHOQOL-OLD, SF-12, and the GDS-30 indicating good construct validity. In general, AAQ subscales differentiated between participants with lower and higher levels of education, and between a priori defined groups of older people (non-depressed vs. depressed; those with higher vs. lower physical comorbidities, and non-carers vs. carers).
Conclusions: The Spanish version of the AAQ questionnaire showed acceptable psychometric properties in a convenience sample of Spanish older people. It is a useful measure of attitude for use with older people in social and clinical services.