The Sense of Competence Questionnaire (SCQ)

Author of Tool: 

Vernooij-Dassen, M. J. F. J., Persoon, J. M. G., Felling, A. J. A.

Key references: 

Vernooij-Dassen, M. J. F. J., Persoon, J. M. G., Felling, A. J. A. (1996). Predictors of sense of competence in caregivers of demented persons. Social Science & Medicine, 43, 41–49.

Vernooij-Dassen, M. J. F. J. Dementie en thuiszorg. Een onderzoek naar de determinanten van het competentiegevoel van centrale verzorgers en het effect van professionele interventie. Lisse: Swets en Zeitlinger, 1993.

Vernooij-Dassen, M., Huygen, F., Felling, A., Persoon, J. (1995). Home care for dementia patients. J Am Geriatr Soc, 43, 456-7.

Vernooij-Dassen, M. J. F. J., Felling, A. J. A., Persoon, J. M. G. (1996). Predictors of sense of competence in primary caregivers of demented persons. Soc Sci Med, 43, 41-9.

Vernooij-Dassen, M., Felling, A., Persoon, J. (1997). Predictors of change and continuity in home care for dementia patients. Int J Geriat Psychiatry, 12, 671-77.

Short Verion References

Vernooij-Dassen, A., Felling, E., Brummelkamp, M., Dautzenberg, G., van den Bosch, R. G. (1999). A short sense of competence questi¬onnaire (SSCQ): measuring the caregiver's sense of competence. J Am Geri¬atr Soc, 47, 256-7.

Moniz-Cook, E., Vernooij-Dassen, M., Woods, R., Verhey, F., Chattat, R., de Vugt, M., Mountain, G., O’Connell, M., Harrison, J., Vasse, E., Dröes, R. M., & Orrell, M. (2008 ). For the INTERDEM group. A European consensus on outcome measures for psychosocial intervention research in dementia care. Aging Ment Health. Jan, 12(1),14-29.

(See more in attachment)

Primary use / Purpose: 

The Sense of Competence Questionnaire (SCQ) is a 35-item questionnaire covering 3 domains: consequences of involvement in care for the personal life of the caregiver, satisfaction with one’s own performance as a caregiver, and satisfaction with the demented person as a recipient of care. The purpose of the questionnaire is to allow measurement of these three domains and allow researchers to predict what may influence a person’s 'sense of competence' which is an important factor in their wellbeing. The scale also exists in shorter 7-item version, also attached below.


Caregiving is typically unplanned, unpaid work, usually carried out by the relative of a patient. The role of caregiver can be rewarding, but it can also be detrimental to a person’s wellbeing and can put them under a lot of stress, especially for a caregiver who has little experience, and may also be struggling with the added financial burden of providing assistance. The Sense of Competence Questionnaire (SCQ) specifically measures a caregiver’s satisfaction and worries in this regard.


The psychometric properties of the Sense of Competence Questionnaire (SCQ) are discussed in Vernooij-Dassen, Persoon, & Felling (1996).



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