Objective: To develop and validate a brief instrument--the Perceived Efficacy in Patient-Physician Interactions Questionnaire (PEPPI)--to measure older patients' self-efficacy in obtaining medical information and attention to their medical concerns from physicians.
Design: Two consecutive validation surveys.
Setting: Eleven senior multipurpose centers in Los Angeles County California.
Population: A convenience sample of 163 community-dwelling older persons (Survey 1: n=59, mean age=77.1 years, 76.3% female; Survey 2: n=104, mean age=77.4 years, 57.7% female).
Measures: The 10-item PEPPI, subscales of the Patient Satisfaction Questionnaire, the Medical Outcomes Study (MOS) Coping Scale, the Mastery Scale, and global self-reported health and restricted activity days items.
Results: The full 10-item and a 5-item short form of PEFPI demonstrated Cronbach's alphas of 0.91 and 0.83, respectively. PEPPI demonstrated discriminant and convergent validity as hypothesized, correlating negatively with avoidant coping (r=-.27, P=.001) and positively with active coping (r=.17, P=.03) and with patient satisfaction with physician interpersonal manner (r=.49, P < .0001) and communication (r=.51, P < .0001) (values from the overall sample). Further, in the second survey, PEPPI correlated positively with self-reported health (r=.42, P < .0001), education (r = .24, P=.01) and self-mastery (r=.29, P=.01) and negatively with restricted activity days (r=-.25, P=.01). PEPPI-5 demonstrated correlations similar in magnitude, direction, and statistical significance.
Conclusion: In either the 5- or 10-item version, PEPPI is a valid and reliable measure of older patients' perceived self-efficacy in interacting with physicians. This instrument may be useful in measuring the impact of empowerment interventions to increase older patients' personal sense of effectiveness in obtaining needed health care.