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Complex health problems in general practice: do we need an instrument for consultation improvement and patient involvement? Theoretical foundation, development and user evaluation of the Patient Perspective Survey (PPS)



Complex health problems in general practice: do we need an instrument for consultation improvement and patient involvement? Theoretical foundation, development and user evaluation of the Patient Perspective Survey (PPS)



Family Practice 15(2): 172-181



Many patients in general practice present with complex health problems. It is argued that the GP who is in a prime position to counsel patients with such problems, will, however, often perceive a lack of tools to manage them. The aim of the present study was to develop a novel instrument in terms of a patient-administered questionnaire, the Patient Perspective Survey (PPS), designed to enhance the quality of clinical communication in the consultation. It is based on a biopsychosocial patient perspective, patient centredness, patient resources, involvement and coping, and quality of life orientation. Development of the PPS has included comprehensive literature research, discussions and advice, during several phases, from groups of GPs, patients, broad panels of experts and testing in pilot studies. After many revisions, a 102-item version, consisting of a main somatic, mental and social domain axis, was evaluated by GPs and patients in 213 consultations. The basic idea, theoretical elements and purpose of the PPS appeared in general to be well accepted. Seventy-five to eighty-five per cent of the patients found the questions relevant and easy to understand and there were high positive scorings regarding influence on the doctor-patient relationship, communication, resource and coping aspects, occurrence of new information and general satisfaction with the consultation. Similar scorings were obtained from the GPs' evaluation. Both parties agreed that there is a need for a shorter and more specific PPS version, and that the resource and coping dimension should be even more extended. We consider it well documented that there is a need for this new instrument to deal with complex health problems in general practice, and that it has promising potentials for consultation improvement.

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Accession: 045605038

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PMID: 9613487

DOI: 10.1093/fampra/15.2.172


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