A New Measure of Contemporary Life Stress: Development, Validation and Reliability of the CRISYS

Shalowitz, M.U. & Berry, C., Rasinski, K.A. & Dannhausen-Brun, C.A.
Health Services Research, 33:5, PP. 1381-1402.

To develop and validate a measure of contemporary life stressors. STUDY SETTING: Three interview studies: Study 1 (pilot), 32 caregivers receiving case management services for a child with chronic illness; Study 2 (validation), 311 caregivers of children receiving general pediatric care at a university clinic; Study 3 (reliability), 17 caregivers of children with a complex medical diagnosis. STUDY DESIGN: Study 1: item development via discussions with case managers; piloted with caregivers. Study 2 examined psychometric properties of the measure and correlated it with the CES-D, a measure of depressive symptomatology and the PRQ85-Part 2, a measure of perceived social support, to establish its convergent construct validity. Study 3 established the test-retest reliability of the measure over two weeks by correlating two administrations of the index. DATA COLLECTION: Face-to-face interviews in homes (Study 1) or in clinic waiting rooms (Studies 2 and 3) and by telephone (Study 3 retest). PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: The CRISYS is a flexible, multidimensional tool that demonstrates strong face, content, and construct validity, and excellent test-retest reliability. The format is easy to use and well accepted by respondents and is suitable for low-income populations. CONCLUSIONS: Researchers will find the CRISYS useful when evaluating the success of a clinical model or a healthcare system, and the effectiveness of an insurance plan or a government program. Clinicians may also find that the CRISYS is an effective screen for family needs.

Wagner Faculty