Validation of an instrument to measure inter-organisational linkages in general practice

Cheryl Amoroso, Judith Proudfoot, Tanya Bubner, Upali W. Jayasinghe, Christine Holton, Julie Winstanley, Justin Beilby, Mark F. Harris, P. Gawaine Powell Davies, Christopher Barton, Jane Grimm, Edward Swan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: Linkages between general medical practices and external services are important for high quality chronic disease care. The purpose of this research is to describe the development, evaluation and use of a brief tool that measures the comprehensiveness and quality of a general practice’s linkages with external providers for the management of patients with chronic disease. In this study, clinical linkages are defined as the communication, support, and referral arrangements between services for the care and assistance of patients with chronic disease. Methods: An interview to measure surgery-level (rather than individual clinician-level) clinical linkages was developed, piloted, reviewed, and evaluated with 97 Australian general practices. Two validated survey instruments were posted to patients, and a survey of locally available services was developed and posted to participating Divisions of General Practice (support organisations). Hypotheses regarding internal validity, association with local services, and patient satisfaction were tested using factor analysis, logistic regression and multilevel regression models. Results: The resulting General Practice Clinical Linkages Interview (GP-CLI) is a nine-item tool with three underlying factors: referral and advice linkages, shared care and care planning linkages, and community access and awareness linkages. Local availability of chronic disease services has no affect on the comprehensiveness of services with which practices link, however, comprehensiveness of clinical linkages has an association with patient assessment of access, receptionist services, and of continuity of care in their general practice. Conclusions: The GP-CLI may be useful to researchers examining comparable health care systems for measuring the comprehensiveness and quality of linkages at a general practice-level with related services, possessing both internal and external validity. The tool can be used with large samples exploring the impact, outcomes, and facilitators of high quality clinical linkages in general practice.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Integrated Care
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Chronic disease management
  • General practice
  • Instrument validation


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