Open Access Open Badges Research article

Validation of the care transition measure in multi-ethnic South-East Asia in Singapore

Anu Birla Bakshi1, Shiou-Liang Wee2*, Charlene Tay2, Loong-Mun Wong2, Ian Yi-Onn Leong3, Reshma A Merchant4 and Nan Luo5*

Author Affiliations

1 Health Promotion Board, Singapore, Singapore

2 Agency for Integrated Care, Singapore, Singapore

3 Tan Tock Seng Hospital, Singapore, Singapore

4 National University Hospital, Singapore, Singapore

5 Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health, National University of Singapore, Singapore, Singapore

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BMC Health Services Research 2012, 12:256  doi:10.1186/1472-6963-12-256

Published: 16 August 2012



The 15-item Care Transition Measure (CTM-15) is a measure for assessing the quality of care during transition from the patients’ perspective. The purpose of this study was to test the psychometric properties of the CTM-15 and CTM-3 (a 3-item version of the CTM-15) in Singapore, a multi-ethnic urban state in South-east Asia.


A consecutive sample of patients was recruited from two tertiary hospitals. The subjects or their proxies were interviewed 3 weeks after discharge from hospital to home in English or Chinese using the CTM-15 questionnaire. Information about patients’ visit to emergency department (ED), non-elective rehospitalisation for the condition of index hospitalisation, and care experience after discharge was also collected from respondents. Psychometric properties of CTM-15 and CTM-3 based on the five-point response scale (i.e. strongly disagree, disagree, neutral, agree, and strongly agree) and the three-point response scale (i.e. [strongly] agree, neutral, and [strongly] disagree) were tested for English and Chinese versions separately. Internal consistency reliability was assessed using Cronbach’s alpha and construct validity was tested with T-test or Pearson’s correlation by examining hypothesised association of CTM scores with ED visit, rehospitalisation, and experience with care after discharge. Exploratory factor analysis was performed to examine latent dimensions of CTM-15.


A total of 414 (proxy: 96.1%) and 165 (proxy: 84.8%) subjects completed the interviews in English and Chinese, respectively. Cronbach’s alpha values of the different CTM-15 versions ranged from 0.81 to 0.87. In contrast, Cronbach’s alpha values of the CTM-3 ranged from 0.42 to 0.63. Both CTM-15 and CTM-3 were correlated with care experience after discharge regardless of survey language or response scale (Pearson’s correlation coefficient: 0.36 to 0.46). Among the English-speaking respondents, the CTM-15 and CTM-3 scores based on both the three- and five-point response scales discriminated well between patients with and without ED visits or rehospitalisation for their index condition. Among Chinese-speaking respondents, no difference in CTM scores was observed between patients with and without ED visits or patients with and without rehospitalisation. The English and Chinese versions of the CTM-15 items demonstrated a similar 4-factor structure representing general care plan, medication, agreement on care plan, and specific care instructions.


The care transition measure is a valid and reliable measure for quality of care transition in Singapore. Moreover, the care transition measure can be administered to proxies using a simpler response scale. The discriminatory power of the Chinese version of this instrument needs to be further tested in future studies.