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Gaceta Sanitaria

Print version ISSN 0213-9111


LETELIER, María José et al. Design and validation of a questionnaire to measure continuity between care levels from the user's perspective. Gac Sanit [online]. 2010, vol.24, n.4, pp.339-346. ISSN 0213-9111.

Objectives: To design and validate an instrument that measures continuity between levels of care from the user's perspective to be applied in any healthcare system providing a continuum of care. Methods: 1) A questionnaire for the measurement of continuity of care was designed, based on a literature review, and 2) the questionnaire was validated using an expert group, two pretests and a pilot test to a sample of 200 healthcare users. We assessed the questionnaire's comprehensibility, content validity and interviewer burden, as well as the reliability and construct validity of the scale. Results: The instrument encompasses three types of continuity (management, information and relational) and is divided in two complementary parts. The first part addresses the patients' care pathways and the continuity of care for a particular episode that occurred in the last 3 months. The second part measures patients' perception of the continuity between levels of care. The experts agreed that all dimensions of continuity were represented and the interviewees found the questionnaire easy to understand. The mean time required to apply the instrument was 33.9min. Cronbach's alpha was acceptable (>0.7) in all subscales except one, which was then removed. The multiple correspondence analyses showed associations among theoretically related items. Conclusions: The questionnaire (CCAENA) seems to be an useful, valid and reliable instrument to assess comprehensively continuity between levels of care from the user's perspective. Further information about the questionnaire's psychometric properties will be obtained by applying it to a larger population.

Keywords : Continuity of care; Questionnaire; Health care delivery; Health services; Comprehensive health care.

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