ERIC Number: ED208253
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Apr
Reference Count: 0
How Sophisticated Are Consumers About the Medical Care Delivery System? Rand Health Insurance Experiment Series.
Newhouse, Joseph P.; And Others
A study was conducted to obtain information about the extent of consumer knowledge of the medical care delivery system and to derive a scale to measure it. A 10-item questionnaire was administered to 4976 persons aged 14-66 in Ohio, Massachusetts, South Carolina, and Washington to measure their consumer sophistication. Some items assessed extent of consumer knowledge related to choosing providers. Others assessed consumer knowledge related to use of medical services for a particular problem. Four stages of analyses identified differences across content areas and across study sites, tested appropriateness of constructing a multi-item summary measure of consumer sophistication, examined reliability and validity of an eight-item scale, and performed regressions to describe population differences in consumer sophistication. Analyses of individual items suggested that consumers are knowledgeable about some matters and uninformed about others. Efforts at educating consumers about board certification, staff privileges, and other information pertinent to choosing a regular source of care seemed warranted. Factor analyses indicated that a substantial amount of the information contained in item responses can be summarized in a multi-item scale score. The reliability and validity of the scale as a measure of patient sophistication was supported. (YLB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Rand Corp., Santa Monica, CA.