Author(s): Watson R, Deary IJ
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Abstract The latent structure of feeding difficulty in elderly patients with dementia was investigated using multivariate statistical techniques including exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis. A survey design of 345 elderly patients with the diagnosis of dementia using a questionnaire completed by key workers and primary nurses, was used in local psychogeriatric and continuing care of the elderly facilities. Feeding difficulty and nursing intervention were estimated followed by fitting of latent variable models of feeding difficulty to the data using structural equation modelling. Three models of feeding difficulty in elderly patients with dementia, with 2, 3 and 4 factor structures respectively were compared. All three models showed a good fit to the data as assessed by several standard criteria. The 3 and 4 factor models, however, showed significantly better fit than the 2 factor model. The 4 factor model introduced a latent variable of "oral difficulty" with feeding which merits further investigation. This study demonstrates the possibility of developing reliable and validated scales for the assessment of feeding difficulty in elderly patients with dementia.
This article was published in Int J Nurs Stud
and referenced in Journal of Neonatal Biology