Developing a user-generated measure of continuity of care: brief report
Objective: This paper describes a measure of continuity of care, establishes its reliability and tests it in a field trial sample for evidence of its validity. In contrast to others, this measure has been generated from the perspectives of service users. As continuity of care is a concern particularly for those with severe mental illness, we have confined our work to this population group.
Method: Service users in focus groups and expert panels generated the measure. The researchers were themselves service users. Test-retest reliability was assessed with an independent sample. The measure was administered to a final independent field trial sample to determine their experiences of continuity of care and for further psychometric testing.
Results: The measure generated by service users has satisfactory psychometric properties. Service users in the field trial sample were more satisfied when continuity, as assessed by this measure, was in place.
Conclusion: It is possible and valid to construct outcome measures in mental health entirely from the user perspective. This has not been done before.