Original Publication
Open Access

Critical Synthesis Package: Patient-Practitioner Orientation Scale (PPOS)

Published: August 21, 2013 | 10.15766/mep_2374-8265.9501

Included in this publication:

  • Critical Analysis of the PPOS.pdf
  • PPOS Instrument & Scoring Guide.doc

To view all publication components, extract (i.e., unzip) them from the downloaded .zip file.

Editor's Note: This publication predates our implementation of the Educational Summary Report in 2016 and thus displays a different format than newer publications. It is also part of a discontinued collection that focused on the presentation of health sciences education assessment tools and their reported validity data.


This Critical Synthesis Package contains: (1) a Critical Analysis of the psychometric properties and application to health sciences education for the Patient-Practitioner Orientation Scale (PPOS), and (2) a copy of the PPOS instrument and the PPOS scoring key developed by Edward Krupat, PhD.

The PPOS is a measure often used in health-communication research to assess patient and provider beliefs regarding patient-centeredness, and has been used in patient, pre-med student, medical student, and practicing physician samples. The current version contains 18 items, which can either be summed or divided into two factor scores. Summing the responses provides a range in which higher scores indicate a belief that the provider is patient-centered, while lower scores indicate a belief that the provider is doctor- or disease-centered. The scale can also be broken into two distinct factors: Sharing and Caring. The Sharing factor indicates a respondent’s belief that the provider is oriented to share power in their medical-care relationship. The Caring factor indicates a respondent’s belief that the provider is oriented to caring about the patient-provider relationship, the patient’s emotions, and has interest in the patient and not simply the disease. Although it has been used in some non-English speaking samples, further cultural adaptations are recommended to increase the understanding of patient-centered medicine cross-culturally. In addition, as other disciplines become more engaged in traditional medical settings, evaluating the PPOS with other health science disciplines would be beneficial. Overall, the PPOS has been efficaciously validated and used in a variety of medical contexts.

Educational Objectives

  1. To describe the purpose and basic properties of the Patient-Practitioner Orientation Scale (PPOS), including number of items and scales, and psychometric properties;
  2. To describe the application of the PPOS to the field of health sciences education;
  3. To evaluate the relative strengths and weaknesses of the PPOS; and
  4. To provide the PPOS and supplemental materials to aid in its administration.

Author Information

  • Stephen Trapp, MS, MEd: Virginia Commonwealth University
  • Marilyn Stern: Virginia Commonwealth University

None to report.

None to report.


Trapp S, Stern M. Critical synthesis package: patient-practitioner orientation scale (PPOS). MedEdPORTAL. 2013;9:9501. https://doi.org/10.15766/mep_2374-8265.9501