Department of Family Medicine
Primary Care Assessment Survey
D.G. Safran, M. Kosinski, A.R. Tarlov, W.H. Rogers, D.A. Taira, N. Lieverman, J.E. Ware (1998)
Background and Development:
The PCAS was developed to operationalize formal definitions of primary care, including the definition by the Institute of Medicine Committee on the Future of Primary Care (1994). The PCAS measures seven domains of care through 11 summary scales: accessibility (organizational, financial), continuity (longitudinal, visit-based), comprehensiveness (contextual knowledge of patient, preventive counseling), integration, clinical interaction (clinician-patient communication, thoroughness of physical examinations), interpersonal treatment, and trust. Reliability of each of the 11 scales was good to excellent (Cronbach alpha 0.74 to 0.95). Interscale correlations were generally low indicating that each scale measured an individual property.
Assessment in Elderly Populations:
This instrument has not been specifically tested with elderly populations.
Assessment in Minority Populations:
This instrument has not been specifically tested with minority populations.
No additional studies using this tool have been published.
Design Strengths and Weaknesses:
The PCAS is a comprehensive measure of primary care. Domain reliability is good to excellent and the scales identify unique aspects of primary care. Patient-physician trust is one domain of this care containing 8 items with good reliability (Cronbach alpha=0.86). No measures of external validity are measured.
Abbreviated item content for the PCAS can be found in Safran et al. (1998)
Dana Gelb Safran
The Health Institute, 750 Washington St., Box 345
Boston, MA, 02111
Institute of Medicine (1994) Defining primary care. An interim report. Washington DC: National Academy Press.
Safran, D.G. , M. Kosinski, A.R. Tarlov, W.H. Rogers, D.A. Taira, N. Lieverman, J.E. Ware (1998) The Primary Care Assessment Survey: Tests of data quality and measurement performance. Medical Care 36(5) 728-739.