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“Doctor, I disagree” : Development and preliminary validation of a patient argumentativeness scale

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Abstract

In medical consultations, disagreements may arise. Yet, patients’ predisposition to engage in a discussion with their doctors to resolve these disagreements may vary. This study aims to develop and validate a measurement tool to assess patient argumentativeness (P-ARG) in general practice. Starting from the pragma-dialectical theory of argumentation and Infante and Rancer’s (1982) argumentativeness scale, scale items were developed and subsequently administered to 183 participants. Principal component analysis was conducted to explore the scale structure. Also, convergent and concurrent validity were assessed. The results confirmed a two-factor scale structure and provided preliminary support for its validity. While further refinement is required, the (preliminary) P-ARG scale can be used for research purposes by medical argumentation as well as health communication scholars, e.g., to explore the relationships between doctors’ provision of argumentation, patients’ perspectives thereof, and patient argumentativeness.

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Keywords: doctor-patient communication; medical consultation; patient argumentativeness; patient-centeredness; scale development

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 31, 2019

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