The Enforced Social Dependency Scale (ESDS)


Author of Tool: 

Mc Corkle, R. & Tzuh Tang, S.

Key references: 

Benoliel, J. Q., McCorkle, R., Young, K. (1980). Development of a social dependency scale. Res Nurs Health, 3(1), 3-10.

McCorkle, R., & Benoliel, J.Q. (1981). Cancer patient responses to psychosocial variables. Final Report of project supported by Grant No. NU00730, DHHS, University of Washington.

Primary use / Purpose: 

The Enforced Social Dependency Scale (ESDS) is a 10-item inventory with questions scored on a Likert scale of between 3 and 6 points. Its purpose is to measure the level of functioning in patients. Specifically, the scale aims to measure patients’ dependence on external sources in order to carry out duties which are ordinarily taken for granted such as eating, walking, and bathing.


Chronically ill-patients, such as those suffering from cancer, can become dependent on close friends, relatives, or care-givers as their illness progresses. This is known to be very detrimental to patients’ quality of life and well-being among other things. The term ‘enforced social dependency’ refers to the type of dependency which is both necessary and related to behaviours which might ordinarily be taken for granted. An important role of health care for such patients is to enable them to regain as mush of their pre-illness functionality as possible. This kind of training requires tools for measuring levels of functionality and this is why the Enforced Social Dependency Scale (ESDS) was developed and evaluated.


The psychometric properties of the Enforced Social Dependency Scale (ESDS) are discussed extensively in the manual attached below. The Instrument itself is in the appendix of this manual.



Microsoft Office document iconEnforced Social Dependency Scale (ESDS)

Digital Object Identifier (DOI):


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