Background: Continuity of care is widely acknowledged as a core value in family medicine. In this systematic review, we aimed to identify the instruments measuring continuity of care and to assess the quality of their measurement properties. Methods: We did a systematic review using the PubMed, Embase and PsycINFO databases, with an extensive search strategy including 'continuity of care', 'coordination of care', 'integration of care', 'patient centered care', 'case management' and its linguistic variations. We searched from 1995 to October 2011 and included articles describing the development and/or evaluation of the measurement properties of instruments measuring one or more dimensions of continuity of care (1) care from the same provider who knows and follows the patient (personal continuity), (2) communication and cooperation between care providers in one care setting (team continuity), and (3) communication and cooperation between care providers in different care settings (cross-boundary continuity). We assessed the methodological quality of the measurement properties of each instrument using the COSMIN checklist. Results: We included 24 articles describing the development and/or evaluation of 21 instruments. Ten instruments measured all three dimensions of continuity of care. Instruments were developed for different groups of patients or providers. For most instruments, three or four of the six measurement properties were assessed (mostly internal consistency, content validity, structural validity and construct validity). Six instruments scored positive on the quality of at least three of six measurement properties. Conclusions: Most included instruments have problems with either the number or quality of its assessed measurement properties or the ability to measure all three dimensions of continuity of care. Based on the results of this review, we recommend the use of one of the four most promising instruments, depending on the target population Diabetes Continuity of Care Questionnaire, Alberta Continuity of Services Scale-Mental Health, Heart Continuity of Care Questionnaire, and Nijmegen Continuity Questionnaire. © 2012 Uijen et al.
Uijen, A. A., Heinst, C. W., Schellevis, F. G., van den Bosch, W. J. H. M., van de Laar, F. A., Terwee, C. B., & Schers, H. J. (2012). Measurement properties of questionnaires measuring continuity of care: A systematic review. PLoS ONE, 7(7). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0042256