BACKGROUND: The Patient Activation Measure (PAM) is used clinically and in research to measure an individual's knowledge, skills, and confidence related to their health management engagement. Despite the use of "patient" in the title, the instrument can be used in nonpatient populations. A group at high risk for low activation concerning their own health is family caregivers of patients with chronic illnesses. The psychometric properties of the PAM have not been established in family caregivers.

OBJECTIVES: This study aimed to examine the psychometric properties of the PAM 10-item version (PAM-10) in a sample of family caregivers of patients with chronic illnesses. Our focus was on family caregivers' health activation of their own healthcare needs.

METHODS: We evaluated the internal consistency reliability of the PAM-10 in a sample of 277 family caregivers. Item-total correlations and interitem correlations were used to assess item homogeneity. Construct validity of the PAM-10 was examined using exploratory factor analysis and testing hypotheses on known relationships.

RESULTS: The PAM-10 demonstrated adequate internal consistency. Item-total correlation coefficients and interitem correlation coefficients were acceptable. Construct validity of the instrument was supported. Factor analysis yielded two factors that explained 62.3% of the variance in the model. Lower levels of depressive symptoms were significantly associated with better activation, providing evidence of construct validity. Caregivers with high activation levels were significantly more likely to engage in and adhere to self-care behaviors such as regular exercise, eating a healthy diet, and engaging in stress reduction strategies.

DISCUSSION: This study demonstrated that the PAM-10 is a reliable and valid measure for family caregivers of patients with chronic illnesses to measure caregivers' health activation of their own healthcare needs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)292-300
Number of pages9
JournalNursing Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 4 2023

Bibliographical note

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  • Humans
  • Caregivers
  • Psychometrics
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Patient Participation
  • Chronic Disease
  • Surveys and Questionnaires


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