THURSDAY, Jan. 2, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The Work Relationships Scale (WRS) seems to be a valid tool for measuring the quality of relationships in primary care settings, according to a study published in the November/December issue of the Annals of Family Medicine.
Erin P. Finley, Ph.D., M.P.H., from South Texas Veterans Health Care System in San Antonio, developed and validated a scale assessing relationships within primary care clinics (WRS) in 17 Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) primary care clinics (457 clinicians/staff surveyed). Validation included comparison against semi-structured clinic member interviews (247) and VA Survey of Healthcare Experiences of Patients (SHEP) data.
The researchers found that WRS scores were significantly associated with clinic-level reporting of the SHEP variables of overall rating of personal doctor/nurse (P < 0.01) and overall rating of health care (P < 0.05). Across both low-scoring and high-scoring clinics, interview data describing relationship characteristics were consistent with variability in WRS scores.
"Relationships play an important role in shaping care delivery and should be assessed as part of efforts to improve patient care within primary care settings," the authors write.