Programme no. 452-P
Do the patients perceive that we care? A Swedish version of the CARE measure.
Karin Crosta Ahlforn*1, Walter Osika2
1Department of Neurobiology, Care Sciences and Society ,Karolinska Institutet,Stockholm,Sweden;Department of Clinical Neuroscience,Karolinska Institutet,Stockholm,Sweden, 2Department of Neurobiology, Care Sciences and Society ,Karolinska Institutet,Stockholm,Sweden;Department of Clinical Neuroscience,Karolinska Institutet,Stockholm,Sweden;Stress Clinic,Solna,Sweden
* = Presenting author
Objectives: The objective for this study was to examine the psychometric characteristics of a Swedish version of the Consultation and Relational Empathy (CARE) measure (widely used in British physicians) and investigate if the scale could be used also in other health care professions.
Background: A validated measure to gather patient feedback on physicians’ empathy is not available in Swedish.
Results: The Swedish CARE measure seemed to demonstrate high acceptability and face validity when consulting a physician or a psychologist, with 1.4-6.1% non-applicable or missing responses (NA/M). Lower acceptability was demonstrated for nurses (16% NA/M), laboratory services or nurse assistant (NA/M 39-48%). The mean CARE score for all caregivers (41.70±8.60) was not significantly influenced by seasonality, age or gender. Scores displayed negative skewness (-0.94), but corrected item-total correlations were high (0.698-0.719) suggesting homogeneity. Internal reliability was very high (Cronbach’s alpha 0.976). Factor analysis implied a one-dimensional structure with factor loadings between 0.87-0.91.
Material/Methods: The CARE measure was translated into Swedish and tested on 829 unselected patients visiting physicians, nurses, nurse assistants, psychologists and lab personnel in two primary care clinics in northwestern Stockholm, Sweden. Main outcome measures were adequate translation, as well as reliability and validity of the Swedish CARE measure.
Conclusion: The Swedish CARE measure appears to be psychometrically valid and reliable enough in physicians, and also relevant in evaluating psychologists and nurses.
Points for discussion: The use of assessment measures for clinical care and empathy might increase the awareness of challenges in patient centered care, illuminate possible strategies to increase e.g. empathy in physicians in a sustainable way, and enable monitoring the effects of interventions and organizational changes. Larger studies are warranted to establish reference values appropriate in Swedish settings. It would also be of interest to analyze unidimensionality and redundancy in the CARE scale with item response theory methods.