This study assessed the validity, reliability and usability of the Patient-Doctor Interaction Scale (PDIS) in a university-based family practice center. Health maintenance visits and problem visits were included, and data were collected at the time of the visit and again 1 month later. Three different methods of administration (in-person, telephone, and mail) were used to assess usability. Of 91 patients approached, 1 refused to participate. A total of 64 (70%) patients completed the instrument adequately to permit analysis. PDIS scores correlated with overall assessment of patient satisfaction (P < 0.01), suggesting criterion-based validity. Internal consistency (reliability) of the PDIS was indicated by Cronbach's alpha which were consistently greater than 0.80. Scores and return rates varied by method of administration, with the telephone method performing best. The PDIS appears to fulfill the requirements for a valid, reliable and useful instrument to assess patient satisfaction in family practice settings.
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