The prupose of this paper is to present the development of the Verona Patient‐Centred Communication Evaluation (VR‐COPE) scale, together with its psychometric properties. The nine item rating scale assesses the content and relational aspects of patient‐centred communication during medical consultations on the basis of a multidimensional evaluation as suggested by the more recent literature in the field. Each item is defined by operational definitions.
A sample of 246 transcribed primary care consultations was rated with the VR‐COPE. Explorative factor analysis, Pearson correlation coefficients and internal consistency using Cronbach's alpha were calculated. Convergent validity with the Verona Medical Interview Classification System (VR‐MICS) was also tested. A sub sample of 32 consultations was used to assess inter‐rater reliability.
Interrater reliability and internal consistency were good (overall Cronbach alpha=0.75). Four factors (explaining 74 per cent of the variance) were extracted by exploratory factor analysis. Six items of the VR‐COPE correlated significantly with specific communication skills evidenced by the VR‐MICS and pertained to the physician's ability to explore medical or psychosocial issues. The VR‐COPE items on interview structure and shared decision, more related to process than to specific skills, had no equivalent in the VR‐MICS.
The new rating scale responds to the need in communication research for a multidimensional scale that combines the evaluation of specific skills and process aspects.
Del Piccolo, L., Angela Mazzi, M., Scardoni, S., Gobbi, M. and Zimmermann, C. (2008), "A theory‐based proposal to evaluate patient‐centred communication in medical consultations: The Verona Patient‐centred Communication Evaluation scale (VR‐COPE)", Health Education, Vol. 108 No. 5, pp. 355-372. https://doi.org/10.1108/09654280810899984Download as .RIS
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