The following is a summary of “Psychometric Evaluation of the Veterans Affairs Bereaved Family Survey in Community Nursing Homes” published in the December 2022 issue of Pain and Symptom Management by Kinder et al.

The Bereaved Family Survey (BFS) has been used by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for more than ten years to assess the standard of end-of-life (EOL) treatment in VA hospital settings. VA created a new version of the BFS in 2019 to assess the standard of EOL care provided to Veterans in community nursing homes (CNHs) under contract with VA. For a study, researchers aimed to assess the BFS-psychometric CNH’s qualities and component structure.

Veterans who passed away in a VA-contracted CNH with hospice care between October 2019 and April 2020 received the BFS-CNH, which was given to their next-of-kin. To determine if the BFS-CNH had a comparable component structure to the inpatient version, exploratory factor analysis (EFA) was done with the 10 core items of the BFS-CNH taken from the inpatient BFS. The internal consistency and reliability of the discovered factors were evaluated using Cronbach’s alpha, and the construct validity of the identified BFS-CNH factor scores and individual items was assessed using linear regression models.

The EFA produced a three-dimensional solution related to the care and communication, emotional and spiritual support, and death benefits components of the inpatient BFS. According to Cronbach’s alpha coefficients, internal consistency for all three components was adequate.

The findings established the groundwork for future comparisons of BFS ratings across VA inpatient and CNH settings and supported the use of the BFS-CNH to assess the caliber of EOL care given to Veterans in CNHs.