This site uses cookies to measure how you use the website so it can be updated and improved based on your needs and also uses cookies to help remember the notifications you’ve seen, like this one, so that we don’t show them to you again. If you could also tell us a little bit about yourself, this information will help us understand how we can support you better and make this site even easier for you to use and navigate.

Measuring the experience and perception of suffering


Schulz, R., Monin, J. K., Czaja, S. J., Lingler, J. H., Beach, S. R., Martire, L. M., Dodds, A., Hebert, R. S., Zdaniuk, B., Cook, T. B.


The Gerontologist, Volume: 50, No.: 6, Pages.: 774-784

Year of Publication



Purpose: assess psychometric properties of scales developed to assess experience and perception of physical, psychological, and existential suffering in older individuals.; Design and Methods: scales were administered to 3 populations of older persons and/or their family caregivers: individuals with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and their family caregivers (N = 105 dyads), married couples in whom 1 partner had osteoarthritis (N = 53 dyads), and African American and Hispanic caregivers of care recipients with AD (N = 121). Care recipients rated their own suffering, whereas caregivers provided ratings of perceived suffering of their respective care recipients. In addition, quality of life, health, and functional status data were collected from all respondents via structured in-person interviews.; Results: three scales showed high levels of internal consistency, test-retest reliability, and convergent and discriminant validity. The scales were able to discriminate differences in suffering as a function of type of disease, demonstrated high intra-person correlations and moderately high inter-person correlations and exhibited predicted patterns of association between each type of suffering and indicators of quality of life, health status, and caregiver outcomes of depression and burden.; Implications: suffering is an important but understudied domain. This article provides valuable tools for assessing the experience and perception of suffering in humans.;

Bibtex Citation

@article{Schulz_2010, doi = {10.1093/geront/gnq033}, url = {}, year = 2010, month = {may}, publisher = {Oxford University Press ({OUP})}, volume = {50}, number = {6}, pages = {774--784}, author = {R. Schulz and J. K. Monin and S. J. Czaja and J. H. Lingler and S. R. Beach and L. M. Martire and A. Dodds and R. S. Hebert and B. Zdaniuk and T. B. Cook}, title = {Measuring the Experience and Perception of Suffering}, journal = {The Gerontologist} }


adaptation psychological, aged, aged, 80 and over, alzheimer disease, and, caregivers, factor analysis statistical, female, humans, identification, instrumentation, interviews as topic, male, of, osteoarthritis, pain, perception, predictive value of tests, psychiatric status rating scales, psychology, psychometrics, quality of life, questionnaires, reproducibility of results, standards, stress, psychological, suffering, united states

Countries of Study


Types of Dementia

Alzheimer’s Disease

Types of Study

Instrument development and testing (cross walking of measures, etc.), Interview Study

Type of Outcomes


Type of Interventions

Treatment/prevention of co-morbidities or additional risks