Patients assessment of chronic illness care (PACIC) in two Australian studies: structure and utility
Aims To validate the Patients Assessment of Chronic Illness Care (PACIC) among patients with chronic disease in the Australian context and to examine the relationship between patient-assessed quality of care and patient and practice characteristics.Methods Cross-sectional analysis of baseline data in two independent health service intervention studies that involved patients with type 2 diabetes, ischaemic heart disease and/or hypertension in general practice. The first study involved 2552 patients from 60 urban and rural general practices. The second involved 989 patients from 26 practices in Sydney. Patients were mailed a questionnaire, which included the PACIC and Short Form Health Survey. Factor analysis was performed and the factor scores and total PACIC were analysed using multi-level regression models against practice and patient characteristics.Results Factor analysis revealed a two-factor solution with similar loading of PACIC items in both studies: one for shared decision making and self-management and the other for planned care. Practice characteristics were not related to PACIC scores. Scores were related to patient characteristics education, retirement, type and number and duration of conditions.Conclusions The two-factor structure of the PACIC found in these Australian studies is different from the five-factor structure found in the US and the European studies. This may be related to differences in the way patients interact with the health system especially the use of Team Care plans. The association of total scores with patient characteristics was consistent with those found in other studies including a lack of association with gender, age and ethnicity. These findings should be taken into consideration when comparing patient-assessed quality of care between countries using this tool.
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