Optimal diabetes care requires a specific set of self-management behaviours. The purpose of this study was to present the development and initial psychometric evaluation of a new tool to measure three key aspects of a patient’s diabetes self-management: knowledge of the skill, confidence in being able to perform the skill and preparedness to implement the skill.
A sequential exploratory mixed-methods design was used. A panel of educators, researchers and clinicians established a scale with items that would adequately capture skills, confidence and preparedness in seven core health behaviours central to diabetes care. The psychometric properties of the items were pilot tested on 120 participants with diabetes from a tertiary referral centre, and repeated 6 months later on 70 participants. Item selection was informed by factor analysis, item-total statistics and the need for brevity.
Twenty five items from a pool of 36 were retained, with an excellent overall intraclass correlation (ICC) of 0.94 (95% CI 0.92–0.99; p < 0.001). Internal consistency for the subscales (skills-9 items, confidence - 8 items, preparedness – 8 items) was very good (intraclass correlation between 0.83 and 0.88), and retest reliability after 6 months was also good (r = 0.48; p < 0.01). The scale was positively correlated to established scales that assess skill (Michigan Diabetes Knowledge Test) (r = 0.21;p = 0.01), and assess skill and confidence (Diabetes Empowerment Scale) (r = 0.28;p < 0.01).
The Skills, Confidence & Preparedness Index is a brief and easy to administer new scale that is more comprehensive than existing tools. It should be used to assess self-management in patients with diabetes, optimize the resources applied to each patient, and determine educational needs and direct clinical management. The scale should be further evaluated in a broader population of patients with diabetes.