Medical Consultation Experience Questionnaire: Assessing perceived alliance and experienced confusion during medical consultations

Psychol Assess. 2018 Nov;30(11):1499-1511. doi: 10.1037/pas0000594. Epub 2018 Jun 7.


The Medical Consultation Experience Questionnaire (MCEQ) is a new, brief self-report instrument that can be used with both adult patients and parents of child patients to assess two dimensions of people's experiences interacting with medical practitioners: Alliance and Confusion. In contrast with existing measures, the MCEQ was expected to provide good discrimination across a full range of experience levels and to assess two distinct dimensions of experience with good factor validity. It was developed in a series of 7 preliminary studies (with 758 participants) and tested in 3 subsequent validation studies, which are the focus of the present report. Study 1 was an Internet sample of 199 parents of child patients, Study 2 was a hospital sample of 173 parents of child surgery patients, and Study 3 was an Internet sample of 204 adult patients. A confirmatory factor analysis specifying strict measurement invariance across the 3 groups produced a good fit. An item response theory analysis suggested that scales on the MCEQ provide good discrimination across a wide range of experience levels. The new scales measuring Alliance and Confusion each had a distinct pattern of convergent validity associations with criterion variables regarding alternate measures of consultation experience, treatment context, and patient-reported perception, behavior, and affect. Results support the validity of the MCEQ and suggest that Alliance and Confusion are two distinct and informative dimensions of medical consultation experience. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2018 APA, all rights reserved).

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Outcome Assessment*
  • Patient Satisfaction*
  • Professional-Patient Relations*
  • Psychometrics / instrumentation
  • Psychometrics / standards*
  • Quality of Health Care*
  • Referral and Consultation
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Self Report / standards*

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