Published online by Cambridge University Press: 19 September 2013
Depression is well documented as a key outcome variable for dementia caregivers; however, guilt has been under-researched, which may be in part due to the lack of an appropriate measure. The Caregiver Guilt Questionnaire (CGQ) was originally developed and piloted with a Spanish population but has not yet been tested in an English-speaking population.
A cross-sectional postal survey was undertaken with a sample of 221 dementia caregivers in the UK, as part of a larger study of dementia caregiver outcome measures.
The five-factor structure identified for the CGQ in the Spanish sample was replicated in this study. The five factors, “guilt about doing wrong by the care recipient,” “guilt about failing to meet the challenges of caregiving,” ‘guilt over experience of negative emotions in relation to caregiving,” “guilt about self-care,” and “guilt about neglecting other relatives” accounted for 60% of the variance. Internal consistencies for the whole scale and factors were acceptable, and convergent validity was established with the Zarit Burden Interview guilt factor. A higher score on the CGQ was associated with a higher score on the Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression scale (CES-D) and a new cut-off score of 22 was established, which predicted a clinical score on the CES-D with 80.0% sensitivity and 61.5% specificity.
The replication of the five-factor structure suggests that these are relevant themes within the feelings of guilt to both Hispanic and British dementia caregivers. The CGQ has been demonstrated to be a valid measure for use with British dementia caregivers and is likely to be of use in clinical and research settings.