Objective: The objective of this study was to report on the validation of new scales [called the Altarum Consumer Engagement (ACE) Measure] that are indicative of an individual's engagement in health and healthcare decisions. The instrument was created to broaden the scope of how engagement is measured and understood, and to update the concept of engagement to include modern information sources, such as online health resources and ratings of providers and patient health.
Methods: Data were collected through an online survey with a US population of 2079 participants. A combination of Principal Component Analysis (PCA) and detailed Rasch analyses were conducted to identify specific subscales of engagement. Results were compared to another commonly used survey instrument, and outcomes were compared for construct validity.
Results: The PCA identified a four-factor structure composed of 21 items. The factors were named Commitment, Informed Choice, Navigation, and Ownership. Rasch analyses confirmed scale stability. Relevant outcomes were correlated in the expected direction, such as health status, lifestyle behaviors, medication adherence, and observed expected group differences.
Conclusions: This study confirmed the validity of the new ACE Measure and its utility in screening for and finding group differences in activities related to patient engagement and health consumerism, such as using provider comparison tools and asking about medical costs.