Psychometric Characteristics of a Patient Satisfaction Instrument Tailored to the Concerns of African Americans

Published in: Ethnicity and Disease, v. 16, no. 4, Autumn 2006, p. 948-955

Posted on RAND.org on December 31, 2005

by Marie N. Fongwa, Ron D. Hays, Peter R. Gutierrez, Anita Stewart

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The national initiative to eliminate health disparities by 2010 makes clear the need for culturally appropriate patient-reported outcome measures. The objective of the study was to refine and augment an existing comprehensive patient satisfaction instrument, the Group Health Association of America (GHAA) survey, to capture the health care concerns of African Americans from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds. Modifications of GHAA items included splitting, rewording, substituting, and adding items. The result was a 21-domain instrument Three new domains included respect, health education, and discrimination/stereotyping. A cross sectional survey of 600 African Americans and Whites yielded 237 usable surveys with 214 self- identified as African American (n=100) or White (n=1 14). Item-scale correlations were examined to evaluate the extent to which items correlated more highly with the scale they were intended to represent than they did with other scales. Support was found for 15 of 19 hypothesized multi-item scales. This study yields a survey that can be used to evaluate care delivered to African Americans and Whites. The survey needs to be evaluated in other samples to determine if it adequately reflects cultural issues from other ethnic minorities.

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