Cross-cultural validation of the parent-patient activation measure in low income Spanish- and English-speaking parents

Lisa Ross DeCamp, Kathryn Leifheit, Harita Shah, Doris Valenzuela-Araujo, Elizabeth Sloand, Sarah Polk, Tina L. Cheng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Objective (1) To measure healthcare activation among low-income parents by language (English/Spanish); and (2) to assess the psychometrics of the Parent-Patient Activation Measure (P-PAM) in the study population. Methods We surveyed parents/guardians of publicly-insured children who were established patients at a pediatrics clinic for ≥6 months. Surveys included the Parent-Patient Activation Measure (P-PAM), a 13-item measure adapted from the well-validated Patient Activation Measure (PAM). Results Of 316 surveys, 68% were completed in Spanish. Mean activation score in the English-language survey group was 79.1 (SD 16.2); mean score in the Spanish-language group was 70.7 (SD 17.9) (p < 0.001). Scale reliability was high (English α = 0.90; Spanish α = 0.93). The P-PAM had acceptable test-retest reliability, but no previously reported PAM factor structure fit the study data adequately for either language. Conclusions Healthcare activation among low-income parents was greater for parents surveyed in English compared with those surveyed in Spanish. The P-PAM has acceptable reliability and validity in English and Spanish, but a different factor structure than the PAM. Practice implications Activation as measured by the P-PAM may not have the same associations with or impact on health/healthcare outcomes in pediatrics compared with adults owing to possible measure differences between the P-PAM and PAM.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2055-2062
Number of pages8
JournalPatient Education and Counseling
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2016


  • Disparities
  • Latino
  • Limited english proficiency
  • Patient engagement
  • Pediatrics
  • Primary care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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