Purpose: Patient-centered care is widely acknowledged as a core value in family medicine. In this systematic review, we aimed to identify and compare instruments, subscales, or items assessing patients' perceptions of patient-centered care in family medicine.
Methods: We conducted a systematic literature review using the MEDLINE, Embase, and Cochrane databases covering 1980 through April 2009, with a specific search strategy for each database. The search strategy was supplemented with searching by hand and expert suggestions. We looked for articles meeting all of the following criteria: (1) describing self-administered instruments measuring patient perceptions of patient-centered care; (2) reporting quantitative or psychometric results of development or validation; (3) being relevant to an ambulatory family medicine context. The quality of each article retained was assessed using a modified version of the Standards for Reporting of Diagnostic Accuracy. Instrument' items were mapped to dimensions of a patient-centered care conceptual framework.
Results: Of the 3,045 articles identified, 90 were examined in detail, and 26, covering 13 instruments, met our inclusion criteria. Two instruments (5 articles) were dedicated to patient-centered care: the Patient Perception of Patient-Centeredness and the Consultation Care Measure, and 11 instruments (21 articles) included relevant subscales or items.
Conclusions: The 2 instruments dedicated to patient-centered care address key dimensions but are visit-based, limiting their applicability for the study of care processes over time, such as chronic illness management. Relevant items from the 11 other instruments provide partial coverage of the concept, but these instruments were not designed to provide a specific assessment of patient-centered care.