The purpose of this study was to develop an instrument in English (ENG) and Spanish (SPA) for use in assessing perceptions of dental home characteristics among low‐income adults.
An expert panel selected 21 items from a pool of 81 items mapped to domains in the American Academy of Pediatrics’ medical home. Pilot testing with mothers (n = 795) of children in Early Head Start (EHS) resulted in an expanded 36‐item scale, which was field‐tested in interviews with ENG‐ (NENG = 665) and SPA‐speakers (NSPA = 116). An exploratory factor analysis of 23 usable items was carried out in an EHS reference group (NENG‐EHS = 272). The selected model was evaluated by confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) in two other subgroups (NENG‐NonEHS = 393; NSPA = 116). We tested measurement and structural invariances using a multiple‐group approach. Known‐groups validity was examined by testing factor mean differences between two groups defined by whether or not the mother used a single dental office.
A three‐factor CFA model with 10 items was retained for its close fit for all three subgroups. Invariance tests found the two ENG subgroups to be homogenous and were combined. Several item and factor parameters in the SPA group differed from the combined ENG group. The proposed dental home measure demonstrated good known‐group validity in that people who used the same dental office reported better dental care experiences.
An instrument to measure the dental home concept among low‐income adults was developed with three domains (accessible‐comprehensive, compassionate, and health literate care) that demonstrated good validity and reliability.