Creating the MPOC, Part 1: Measuring processes of care-giving and parental psychosocial well-being

This was the first of two studies conducted to construct a valid and reliable instrument that would measure the processes of professional care-giving. Development of such a measurement tool was deemed necessary in order to later examine the relationship between the processes of care-giving and parental psychosocial well-being. The psychosocial problems experienced by some parents of children with disabilities may be minimized or prevented through the care-giving offered by health care professionals to these children and their parents. The resulting outcome measure is called the Measure of Processes of Care (MPOC).

The construction phase involved four parts:

  • focus groups with parents from three children's treatment centres to clarify the meaning of important aspects of care previously identified;
  • review of the literature and discussions concerning instrument format and scaling;
  • item generation and writing of items based on information from parents and the literature; and
  • pilot testing with 653 parents to reduce the pool of 101 items to a more manageable size (based on the results of factor analyses and measures of internal consistency). The end result was the development of a 49-item MPOC tapping six factor-analytically determined scales (Coordinated and Comprehensive Care, Partnership and Enabling, Respectful and Supportive Care, Providing General Information, Providing Specific Information about the Child, and Accessible Care). Each scale was found to have high internal consistency (Cronbach's alpha ranging from .78 to .94).

In the reliability phase, MPOC-49 showed good test-retest reliability (intraclass correlation coefficients for the scales ranged from .73 to .85). The validity phase compared MPOC-49 scale scores with measures of satisfaction and stress.

MPOC-49 scale scores correlated highly with a standardized measure of satisfaction (Pearson correlations ranged from .40 to .72). MPOC-49 scale scores also were significantly correlated with an item measuring parental stress, providing some preliminary support for an association between parents' perceptions of care-giving and their stress.

Project Updates

To read more about the resulting outcome measure, refer to: King, S., Rosenbaum, P., & King, G. (1995). The Measure of Processes of Care: A means to assess family-centred behaviours of health care providers. Hamilton, Ontario: McMaster University, Neurodevelopmental Clinical Research Unit. Impact 

Read Part 2 for the follow-up study on this topic.

Research Team

Funding Agency

Ontario Mental Health Foundation - $133,210 (1991-1993)