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Psychometric properties of the Perceived Stress Scale in a sample of German dementia patients and their caregivers

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  24 July 2017

Friederike Deeken*
Social and Preventive Medicine, University of Potsdam, Potsdam, Germany
Andreas Häusler
Social and Preventive Medicine, University of Potsdam, Potsdam, Germany
Johanna Nordheim
Charité–Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Institute of Medical Sociology and Rehabilitation Science, Berlin, Germany
Michael Rapp
Social and Preventive Medicine, University of Potsdam, Potsdam, Germany
Nina Knoll
Department of Education and Psychology, Division Health Psychology, Freie Universität Berlin, Berlin, Germany
Nina Rieckmann
Charité–Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Institute of Public Health, Berlin, Germany
Correspondence should be addressed to: Friederike Deeken, M.Sc.-Psych., Social and Preventive Medicine, University of Potsdam, Am Neuen Palais 10, D-14469 Potsdam, Germany. Phone: +49 331 977 4185; Fax: +49 331 977. Email:



The aim of the present study was to investigate the psychometric characteristics of the Perceived Stress Scale (PSS) in a sample of dementia patients and their spousal caregivers.


We investigated the reliability and validity of the 14-item PSS in a sample of 80 couples, each including one spouse who had been diagnosed with mild to moderate dementia (mean age 75.55, SD = 5.85, 38.7% female) and one spousal caregiver (mean age 73.06, SD = 6.75, 61.3% female). We also examined the factor structure and sensitivity of the scale with regard to gender differences.


Exploratory factor analysis of the PSS revealed a two-factor solution for the scale; the first factor reflected general stress while the second factor consisted of items reflecting the perceived ability to cope with stressors. A confirmatory factor analysis verified that the data were a better fit for the two-factor model than a one-factor model. The two factors of the PSS showed good reliability for patients as well as for caregivers ranging between α = 0.73 and α = 0.82. Perceived stress was significantly positively correlated with depressive symptomatology in both caregivers and patients. Mean PSS scores did not significantly differ between male and female patients nor did they differ between male and female caregivers.


The present data indicate that the PSS provides a reliable and valid measure of perceived stress in dementia patients and their caregivers.

Research Article
Copyright © International Psychogeriatric Association 2017 

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