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Derjung M Tarn, Henry N Young and Benjamin M Craig contributed equally to this work.
The authors declare that they have no competing interests.
All authors contributed to the concept, design, analysis and interpretation of the data, and were involved in drafting the manuscript. BMC conducted all study analyses. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.
This study examines the psychometric properties of 9 items on the Patient Activation component of the Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey (MCBS) that assess how patients approach and communicate with their physicians. The MCBS is a nationally representative, cross-sectional survey of Medicare beneficiaries.
We analyzed MCBS data collected in 2002 and 2005 from 15,165 adults aged 65 and older. Exploratory factor analysis was conducted using maximum likelihood to estimate a polychoric correlation matrix on the 2002 data, and confirmatory factor analysis was performed using the 2005 data.
Exploratory factor analysis of the 2002 data showed a 2-factor solution: approach to interactions (5 items) and views about physician’s healthcare communication (6 items). Findings were confirmed using the 2005 data. Items were combined to form the Patient Approach and Views toward Healthcare Communication (PAV-COM) scale (range 1 to 100; Cronbach’s alpha of 0.75, and item-rest correlations between 0.33 and 0.54). Higher PAV-COM scores were associated with greater fulfillment of preventive health behaviors such as vaccinations and cancer screenings.
The PAV-COM measure is a valid tool for assessing patient approaches and views toward communication with physicians. This measure can be used to evaluate interventions to improve patient participation during healthcare encounters.