Preliminary development and validation of the Patient‐Physician Relationship Scale for physicians for disorders of gut‐brain interaction

Jordyn H. Feingold, Douglas A. Drossman, William Chey, Jacob E. Kurlander, Carolyn B. Morris, Shrikant Bangdiwala, Laurie Keefer

Background: An effective patient‐physician relationship (PPR) is essential to the care of patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). After developing a PPR questionnaire for patients, we sought to develop and validate an IBS‐specific instrument to measure physician expectations of the PPR.
Methods: We conducted focus groups about PPRs among 15 clinicians who treat patients with IBS from community and academic centers. Qualitative analysis was used to generate the Patient‐Physician Relationship Scale ‐Physician
Results: The PPRS‐Physician contained 35 questions pertaining to interpersonal and psychosocial features considered desirable or undesirable in a relationship with IBS patients. 1113 physicians (22%) completed the survey. Physicians were predominantly middle‐aged (mean = 55.1 years), male (85.0%), white (74.5%), and practiced primarily within group settings (61.6%), with an average of 25.7% of their patients having IBS. Factor analysis revealed three relevant factors: interfering attributes, positive attributes, and personal connection. The scale ranged from possible 0 to 100 (mean = 83.8; SD = 8.38). Cronbach’s alpha reliability measure of the scale was 0.938, indicating high internal consistency. There was a significant moderate, positive correlation between JSPE and the PPRS (P < 0.001, r = 0.488), establishing concurrent validity.
Conclusions: We describe the development and validation of the first questionnaire to measure physician expectations of the PPR. This instrument can be used clinically, and for future studies on physician communication.