Assessing patients’ preferences for engaging in healthcare is needed to inform the planning and delivery of individualized healthcare. Unfortunately, patients are often not engaged in their care to the extent that they would like, leading to patient feelings of disempowerment and frustration.
The purpose of this study was to (a) develop and (b) psychometrically test the Patient Preferences for Engagement Tool (PPET), a clinical assessment tool that can be used by nursing staff to identify patient preferences for engagement in healthcare. The usability of the PPET was also examined for both nurses and patients participating in the study.
The psychometric evaluation design used content and construct validity testing (exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis, known groups comparisons) and reliability estimation using Cronbach’s alpha coefficient. The sample consisted of 308 adult patients aged 18–101 years from a Midwestern U.S. Magnet-designated academic medical center.
Content validity index was at least 0.8 for all but one item. Using a split sample, a six-factor solution was first identified using exploratory factor analysis and then confirmed using confirmatory factor analysis. Demographic and illness factors were not significant predictors of factor scores. Cronbach’s alpha coefficients of all six factors were >0.7. Both patients and nurses gave high ratings to the tool on effectiveness, efficiency, and satisfaction with use.
The PPET demonstrated acceptable validity and reliability estimates. Assessing patient preferences for engagement gives value to the patient voice and provides an opportunity to have discussions with patients about various ways they can engage in their healthcare. Future research will focus on reducing the number of items on the PPET to construct a clinically useful resource for providers to use to assess patient preferences for healthcare engagement, leading to the development of more personalized care delivery methods.