Test-retest stability of patient experience items derived from the national GP patient survey.
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PURPOSE: The validity and reliability of various items on the GP Patient Survey (GPPS) survey have been reported, however stability of patient responses over time has not been tested. The purpose of this study was to determine the test-retest reliability of the core items from the GPPS. METHODS: Patients who had recently consulted participating GPs in five general practices across the South West England were sent a postal questionnaire comprising of 54 items concerning their experience of their consultation and the care they received from the GP practice. Patients returning the questionnaire within 3 weeks of mail-out were sent a second identical (retest) questionnaire. Stability of responses was assessed by raw agreement rates and Cohen's kappa (for categorical response items) and intraclass correlation coefficients and means (for ordinal response items). RESULTS: 348 of 597 Patients returned a retest questionnaire (58.3 % response rate). In comparison to the test phase, patients responding to the retest phase were older and more likely to have white British ethnicity. Raw agreement rates for the 33 categorical items ranged from 66 to 100 % (mean 88 %) while the kappa coefficients ranged from 0.00 to 1.00 (mean 0.53). Intraclass correlation coefficients for the 21 ordinal items averaged 0.67 (range 0.44-0.77). CONCLUSIONS: Formal testing of items from the national GP patient survey examining patient experience in primary care highlighted their acceptable temporal stability several weeks following a GP consultation.
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