Health Soc Care Community. 2022 Jun 13. doi: 10.1111/hsc.13881. Online ahead of print.
The decline of language and communication abilities is common among people living with dementia and impacts on many areas of everyday life, including active participation in social activities and decision-making. Despite a growing body of supporting evidence for approaches that address language and communication decline in dementia, the concept of communication rehabilitation is largely neglected in this population. This paper reports on the content validation of a novel tool, the Communication Support Needs Assessment Tool for Dementia (CoSNAT-D). The tool has been developed to assist in the initial identification of communication difficulties and related support needs of people living with dementia. Importantly, the CoSNAT-D is the only available tool that takes a three-way informed approach, considering the view of the person living with dementia, their carer and an administering healthcare professional. Content validity was established between September and December 2018 using a modified Delphi approach. An international expert panel rated 32 items of a face-validated item pool regarding their importance and relevance through an iterative feedback process. Consensus was pre-determined at 70% of agreement for both importance and relevance of an item. Data were analysed using descriptive statistics and qualitative content analysis of comments provided in each round. Twenty-eight experts working in dementia, language and communication participated in the Delphi survey. Qualitative analysis resulted in the addition of five items, of which three reached the required consensus in Round 3. Consensus was established for 35/37 items in three rounds. The pilot version of the CoSNAT-D demonstrates adequate content validity and face validity. The use of the CoSNAT-D may assist a range of healthcare professionals in the decision-making process about appropriate next management steps, and thereby improve the care path for people with dementia and language and communication impairment. The establishment of further psychometric properties is warranted.