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J Pers Soc Psychol. 1980 Nov;39(5):977-90.

Assessment of Preferences for self-treatment and information in health care.


It has been assumed that it is beneficial for patients to become active and informed participants in health care. Previous research, however, suggests that individuals differ in their receptiveness to information and self-care in treatment stiuations. This article reports the development and validation of the Krantz Health Opinion Survey, a measure of preferences for different treatment approaches. This measure yields a total score and two relatively independent subscales that measure, respectively, preferences for information and for behavioral involvement (i.e., self-care and active participation) in medical care. Three related studies demonstrated the ability of the subscales or total score to predict with some specificity (a) criterion group membership (clinic users and enrollees in a self-care course), (b) reported use of clinic facilities, and (c) overt behavior (e.g., inquisitiveness, self-diagnosis) in a medical setting. Discriminant validity of the instrument is also established. Theoretical implications of the preference constructs are described in terms of the concept of personal control, and practical implications of the measure are presented.

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