The prevalence of individuals with chronic illness is growing fast because of the rapid aging of the population and the greater longevity of individuals. The multiple and often complex needs of populations affected by the epidemic of chronic illnesses requires approaches that include collaboration among health care professionals of various organizations and extend beyond traditional acute episodic health care and the services of any single organization [1
]. Partnerships are increasingly used to enhance health service delivery in response to this explosion in chronic disease prevalence. While interprofessional health partnerships are internationally acknowledged as integral for comprehensive chronic illness care, the evidence for effectiveness of such partnerships is lacking [6
]. Partnership collaboration requires relationships, procedures, and structures that are quite different from the ways many people and organizations have worked in the past and research indicates that these partnerships are also generating a good deal of frustration [8
]. In addition, building effective partnerships is time consuming, resource intensive, and often very difficult [9
]. A number of special challenges are involved in the management of interprofessional health partnerships [12
]. One of the main critical tasks of partnership management is to enhance the capacity of partnerships to achieve high levels of synergy. Partnership's ability to create synergy resulting in the redesign of patient care is an essential factor for successful disease-management [7
]. Synergy is the degree to which the partnership combines the complementary strengths, perspectives, values and resources of all partners in the search for better solutions [14: p. 5] and is generally regarded as the product of a partnership [15
]. The synergy that a partnership can achieve is more than simply an exchange of resources among its partners. Theoretically, when partners effectively merge their perspectives, knowledge, and skills to create synergy, they create something new and valuable: a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts. Lasker and colleagues [8
] developed a framework that supports the people responsible for managing partnerships in realizing high levels of synergy. The Partnership Self-Assessment Tool (PSAT) was developed based on this framework by public health specialists for practical use by groups working to promote health and well-being in their communities [7
]. It measures partnership synergy and other related dimensions of the partnership process [16
]. Establishment of construct validity during development of the PSAT items was rigorous [7
]. In addition, it included data from qualitative interviews with members of community health promotion partnerships, an extensive review of relevant literature and measures, as well as input from a panel of experts. Furthermore, the PSAT was tested in 63 health-related partnerships in operation at least 18 months in urban, suburban or rural areas in the US [7
]. A recent study conducted by Butt and colleagues [17
] showed that the PSAT is a valid partnership process measurement tool.
The PSAT has not been validated in the Netherlands to date. In this article, we describe the psychometric testing of the PSAT among professionals in twenty-two disease-management partnerships participating in quality improvement projects focused on chronic care in the Netherlands. Our objectives are to validate the PSAT in the Netherlands and to reduce the number of items of the original PSAT while maintaining validity and reliability.