A questionnaire to measure health practitioners' attitudes to partnership in medicine taking: LATCon II

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Abstract

Objectives

To revise and improve an existing scale to measure health practitioners' attitudes to partnership in medicine taking and to ascertain the views of medical students, nursing students and pre-registration pharmacists on concordance.

Background

The traditional model of the practitioner-patient interaction incorporates a practitioner-centred approach, focusing on the disease rather than the patient. The philosophy of ‘concordance’ (or ‘partnership in medicine-taking’) puts the patient at the centre of the interaction, with the patient interacting reciprocally with the practitioner. The Leeds Attitude to Concordance (LATCon) scale was developed in 2001 to assess practitioners' and patients' attitudes to concordance. However, thinking on concordance has developed since then and the present study aimed to revise the scale to ensure that it reflected current thinking and also to increase its reliability and validity.

Design

A pool of potential items was developed and sent to three subject experts for opinion. An attitudinal Likert scale of 31 items was developed. Its completion was followed by statistical item reduction to 20 items. The shorter scale was completed by the same participants 4–6 weeks later.

Setting and participants

The study was set in a university in the UK. Participants were 183 medical students, nursing students, and pre-registration pharmacists.

Results and discussion

The study derived a 20 item scale, including five negatively-worded items, with good levels of internal and test-retest reliability. Factor analysis suggested five main factors. A statistically significant difference in attitudes was found between student nurses and medical students, and student nurses and pre-registration pharmacists, with student nurses being more in agreement with the concordant approach. Overall, participants were in agreement with the concordant approach to medicine taking.

Results and discussion

The UK National Health Service advocates partnership in medical care and is encouraging both practitioners and patients to work to introduce this. There is increased awareness of the patients' perspective by practitioners, but its impact on their practice remains unclear. Education and skills teaching must continue for the benefits of a concordant approach to be seen. The LATCon scale could play a useful role in education and training, and in research assessing the movement towards the new approach.

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