Searchable Title

Measuring compassionate healthcare with the 12-item Schwartz Center Compassionate Care Scale. Copyright: Creative Commons License.

Searchable Authors

A. M. Rodriguez
B. A. Lown

Reference Type

Journal Article

Authors, Section

Rodriguez, A.M.; Lown, B.A.

Title, Section

Measuring compassionate healthcare with the 12-item Schwartz Center Compassionate Care Scale. Copyright: Creative Commons License.

Publication Year

2019

Journal Title

PLoS One

Volume

14

Issue

9

Pages

e0220911

Availability

online

PMID

PMID: 31487300

DOI

10.1371/journal.pone.0220911

Abstract

Full text is on website. File S1 Table. BACKGROUND: Patients and clinicians endorse the importance of compassionate healthcare but patients report gaps between its perceived importance and its demonstration. Empathy and compassion have been associated with quality of life and significant health outcomes but these characteristics are not optimally measured or used for performance and organizational improvement. OBJECTIVE: To address these gaps, we conducted a study with the objective of evaluating the properties of the 12-item Schwartz Center Compassionate Care Scale® using psychometric analysis and cognitive debriefing. METHODS: Non-hospitalized patients with multiple chronic conditions were sampled using an on-line platform. Classical test theory and Rasch measurement theory were used to evaluate psychometric properties of the scale. Structured questions elicited cognitive responses regarding clarity of each item. RESULTS: Classical test theory analysis confirmed that the 12-item Schwartz Center Compassionate Care Scale is a unidimensional scale with excellent internal consistency and test-retest reliability. Patients' ratings of compassionate behaviors using the Schwartz Center Compassionate Care Scale correlated significantly with a related instrument designed to measure empathy, demonstrating convergent validity. Rasch measurement theory showed that reducing the number of response options on 3 items in the scale would improve respondents' discrimination between responses on these items. Although person-item threshold distribution analysis showed that patients may wish to rate compassionate care at levels both higher and lower than the scale permits, items could be ordered on an interval scale from low to high levels of compassionate care. CONCLUSIONS: The current 12-item Schwartz Center Compassionate Care Scale demonstrates excellent psychometric properties by Classical Test Theory and Rasch measurement theory. The 12-item Schwartz Center Compassionate Care Scale adds questions related to understanding and discussing emotional, contextual issues and the needs of the patient and family. Easily completed on-line, it could be used for work-place based assessment and feedback to clinicians and performance or quality improvement.

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