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JAMA Netw Open. 2019 May 3;2(5):e193976. doi: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2019.3976.

Development and Validation of a Tool to Measure Patient Assessment of Clinical Compassion.

Author information

1
Department of Emergency Medicine, Cooper University Health Care, Cooper Medical School of Rowan University, Camden, New Jersey.
2
Center for Humanism, Cooper Medical School of Rowan University, Camden, New Jersey.
3
Institutional Research and Outcomes Assessment, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
4
Department of Patient Family Centered Care, Cooper University Health Care, Camden, New Jersey.
5
Department of Medicine, Cooper University Health Care, Cooper Medical School of Rowan University, Camden, New Jersey.

Abstract

Importance:

Clinician compassion is a vital element of health care quality. Currently, there appears to be no validated and feasible method for health care organizations to measure patient assessment of clinician compassion on a large scale.

Objective:

To develop and validate a tool for measuring patient assessment of clinician compassion that can be used in conjunction with the Clinician and Group Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CG-CAHPS) survey.

Design, Setting, and Participants:

This prospective cohort study took place from June 1 to August 30, 2018, at a US academic health care system among a pilot cohort consisting of 3325 adult patients and a validation cohort consisting of 3483 adult patients, both of whom had an outpatient clinic visit and completed the CG-CAHPS survey.

Main Outcomes and Measurements:

After a comprehensive literature review, 12 candidate survey items were developed. Face and construct validity were performed. Candidate items were disseminated to patients in conjunction with the CG-CAHPS survey in a series of 2 studies: (1) exploratory factor analysis in one cohort to determine the factor structure and the most parsimonious set of items; and (2) validity testing in a second cohort using confirmatory factor analysis. Reliability was tested using Cronbach α. Convergent validity was tested with patient assessment of clinician communication and overall satisfaction questions from CG-CAHPS survey.

Results:

Overall, 6493 patient responses were analyzed. The mean (SD) age was 60 (15) years, 4239 patients (65.3%) were women, and 5079 (78.2%) were white. Exploratory factor analyses identified a 5-item compassion measure to be the most parsimonious. Confirmatory factor analyses found good fit. The compassion measure demonstrated good internal consistency (α = 0.94) and convergent validity (clinician communication: ρ = 0.44; overall satisfaction: ρ = 0.52) but reflected a patient experience domain (compassionate care) distinct from what is currently captured in the CG-CAHPS survey.

Conclusions and Relevance:

A simple 5-item tool to measure patient assessment of clinician compassion was developed and validated for use in conjunction with CG-CAHPS survey.

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