The Patient Perception of Patient Centeredness Questionaire (PPPC) #04-1

M. Stewart, L. Meredith, B.L. Ryan, J.B. Brown
April 2004


Research has shown that the components of the patient-centered approach have positive relationships with a variety of worthy outcomes such as patient recovery, emotional health, physical function and physiologic outcomes. Other outcomes documented include: patient satisfaction, patient adherence, physician satisfaction, fewer malpractice complaints, and time. As well, programs that encouraged patients and physicians to communicate in a more patient-centered way have resulted in improved patient outcomes. 

Based on the patient-centered clinical method, a method of scoring patient-physician encounters was developed called the Measure of Patient-centered Communication (MPCC). Information about this measure can be obtained from the working paper #95-2 second edition, Assessing Communication between Patients and Physicians: The Measure of Patient-centered Communication (MPCC).

Measures of the patient’s perception of patient-centered care have been developed which serve to supplement and complement the MPCC. What more patient-centered research approach could one imagine than asking the patient to describe their experience of the visit with the doctor in a formal structured way? The measures, described in this working paper, have been used for research, but as well for education, by providing individual feedback to participating physicians on their patients’ perceptions.

Patient perception measures are increasingly used to evaluate health care. Standard questionnaires to assess the patients’ view of themselves or to assess their satisfaction with care (which includes implicit comparisons by patients between their perceptions of care and their expectations of care) are not the topic of this working paper. Rather, this working paper covers patients’ reports of a recent experience of care. Other researchers have chosen such a focus to evaluate primary care generally. In general, such measures are: more sensitive to health care delivery changes than long-term health outcome measures; less expensive and more reliable than physician review methods; and focused on positive aspects of care (not mistakes), hence very suitable for quality improvement initiatives. These qualities make patient perception measures an important component of any healthcare research program. 

Our own research has found that the patient perception of patient-centeredness questionnaire (PPPC) was directly related to patient outcomes, when the MPCC was not, again indicating the importance of patient reports of their care.

The current working paper presents the questionnaire measures of patients’ perception of the patient-centered clinical method.