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Journal of Aging Research
Volume 2012, Article ID 150473, 7 pages
Clinical Study

Measurement of Harm Outcomes in Older Adults after Hospital Discharge: Reliability and Validity

1School of Rehabilitation Science, IAHS Building, Rm 402, McMaster University, 1400 Main St. W. Hamilton, ON, Canada L8S 1C7
2Department of Rehabilitation Science, McMaster University, Canada
3Centre for Health Education Scholarship, Department of Medicine, University of British Columbia, Canada

Received 22 December 2011; Accepted 21 February 2012

Academic Editor: Thomas M. Hess

Copyright © 2012 Alison Douglas et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Objectives. Defining and validating a measure of safety contributes to further validation of clinical measures. The objective was to define and examine the psychometric properties of the outcome “incidents of harm.” Methods. The Incident of Harm Caregiver Questionnaire was administered to caregivers of older adults discharged from hospital by telephone. Caregivers completed daily logs for one month and medical charts were examined. Results. Test-retest reliability (n=38) was high for the occurrence of an incident of harm (yes/no; kappa = 1.0) and the type of incident (agreement = 100%). Validation against daily logs found no disagreement regarding occurrence or types of incidents. Validation with medical charts found no disagreement regarding incident occurrence and disagreement in half regarding incident type. Discussion. The data support the Incident of Harm Caregiver Questionnaire as a reliable and valid estimation of incidents for this sample and are important to researchers as a method to measure safety when validating clinical measures.