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Keywords:

  • healthcare professionals;
  • nursing management;
  • patient participation;
  • psychometric testing;
  • scale development;
  • surgical treatment

Aims and objectives

To develop, empirical test, and validate an instrument measuring patient participation in surgical treatment decision-making from healthcare professionals' perspective.

Background

Since the advent of New Public Management in many Western countries, patient participation in healthcare decision-making has been considered to be a best practice. A common notion is that well-educated and well-informed public want to choose their own treatments and providers and want to ask questions about the quality of their health services.

Design

Survey.

Methods

A self-report-measuring instrument was designed and administered to 620 healthcare professionals. Items were developed, validated and tested by 451 nurses and physicians working in six surgical wards in a University Hospital in Norway.

Results

A 16-item scale with the following four dimensions was developed: information dissemination, formulation of options, integration of information and control. Factor analysis procedures and reliability testing were performed. A one-way, between-groups analysis of variance was conducted to compare doctors' and nurses' opinions on four dimensions of patient participation in surgical treatment decision-making.

Conclusions

This article shows that patient participation in surgical treatment decision-making can be measured by a 16-item scale and four distinct dimensions. The analysis demonstrated a reasonable level of construct validity and reliability. Nurses and physicians have a positive attitude towards patient participation overall, but the two groups differ in the extent to which they accept the idea of patient participation in treatment decision-making.

Relevance to clinical practice

The instrument can be a tool for managers and healthcare professionals in the implementation of patient participation in clinical practice. Data from the instrument can be useful to identify health services being provided and what areas that could strengthen patient participation.