Background: Despite expansion of research on elder mistreatment, limited attention has been paid to the development of improved measurement instruments. This gap is particularly notable regarding measurement of mistreatment in long-term care facilities. This paper demonstrates the value of qualitative methods used in item development of a Resident-to-Resident Elder Mistreatment (R-REM) measure for use in nursing homes and other care facilities. It describes the development strategy and the modification and refinement of items using a variety of qualitative methods.
Methods: A combination of qualitative methods was used to develop close-ended items to measure R-REM, including review by a panel of experts, focus groups, and in-depth cognitive interviews.
Results: Information gathered from the multiple methods aided in flagging problematic items, helped to highlight the nature of the problems in measures, and provided suggestions for item modification and improvement.
Conclusions: The method employed is potentially useful for future attempts to develop better measures of elder mistreatment. The employment of previously established measurement items drawn from related fields, modified through an intensive qualitative research strategy, is an effective strategy to improve elder mistreatment measurement.