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Open Access Research article

The Prostate Care Questionnaire for Patients (PCQ-P): Reliability, validity and acceptability

Carolyn Tarrant1*, Richard Baker1, Andrew M Colman2, Paul Sinfield1, Shona Agarwal1, John K Mellon3, William Steward3 and Roger Kockelbergh3

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Health Sciences, University of Leicester, Leicester, UK

2 School of Psychology, University of Leicester, Leicester, UK

3 Department of Cancer Studies & Molecular Medicine, University of Leicester, Leicester, UK

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BMC Health Services Research 2009, 9:199  doi:10.1186/1472-6963-9-199

Published: 4 November 2009

Abstract

Background

In England, prostate cancer patients report worse experience of care than patients with other cancers. However, no standard measure of patient experience of prostate cancer care is currently available. This paper describes an evaluation of the reliability, validity and acceptability of the PCQ-P, a newly developed instrument designed to measure patient experience of prostate cancer care.

Methods

The reliability, acceptability and validity of the PCQ-P were tested through a postal survey and interviews with patients. The PCQ-P was posted to 1087 prostate cancer patients varying in age, occupation, and overall health status, sampled from five hospitals in England. Nonresponders received one reminder. To assess criterion validity, 935 patients were also sent sections of the National Centre for Social Research Shortened Questionnaire; and to assess test-retest reliability, 296 patients who responded to the questionnaire were resent it a second time three weeks later. A subsample of 20 prostate cancer patients from one hospital took part in qualitative interviews to assess validity and acceptability of the PCQ-P. Acceptability to service providers was evaluated based on four hospitals' experiences of running a survey using the PCQ-P.

Results

Questionnaires were returned by 865 patients (69.2%). Missing data was low across the sections, with the proportion of patients completing less than 50% of each section ranging from 4.5% to 6.9%. Across the sections of the questionnaire, internal consistency was moderate to high (Cronbach's alpha ranging from 0.63 to 0.80), and test-retest stability was acceptable (intraclass correlation coefficients ranging from 0.57 to 0.73). Findings on criterion validity were significant. Patient interviews indicated that the PCQ-P had high face validity and acceptability. Feedback from hospitals indicated that they found the questionnaire useful, and highlighted important considerations for its future use as part of quality improvement initiatives.

Conclusion

The PCQ-P has been found to be acceptable to patients and service providers, and is ready for use for the measurement of patient experience in routine practice, service improvement programmes, and research.