Introduction The Next Stage Review (“Darzi Report”) for the UK NHS puts emphasis on measuring patient experience and Patient Reported Outcome Measures (PROMS). Measures of patient satisfaction with healthcare (SwH) are controversial and well-validated instruments are lacking for use in gastroenterology clinics.
Methods We developed a multi-item questionnaire incorporating demographic and socioeconomic variables, a rating of global heath state (EQ5D), a locally-validated SwH score (VAS: 0–100) and satisfaction ratings (VAS) for 13 aspects of the service. This was administered to consecutive patients attending GI clinics at our University hospital. Patient factors associated with variation in global SwH scores were identified by univariate and multivariate methods and we explored correlations between global satisfaction rating and subscores for individual aspects of the service.
Results 151 respondents to date (Males: 36%; mean age: 54.6 years; education to degree level: 23.8%; mean global health (EQ5D VAS): 69.4; mean global SwH: 87.6 (range 10–100)). Mean SwH scores were lower in females (84.5 vs 91.8, p=0.004) and those with degree level education (82.6 vs 90.0, p=0.02). SwH was positively correlated with global health score (EQ5D-VAS: Pearson r=0.29, p=0.01) and negatively with pain score (EQ5D pain domain: r=−0.29, p=0.001). Global SwH score was positively correlated with VAS ratings for: “need to attend clinic today” (r=0.44), “seen often enough” (r=0.49), “administrative service” (r=0.47), “waiting time in clinic” (r=0.49), “time spent with doctor” (r=0.68), “doctors explanation” (r=0.70), “doctors understanding of health problem” (r=0.62), “doctors professionalism” (r=0.60), “nurse professionalism” (r=0.58), “waiting time to next visit” (r=0.48), “waiting times for tests” (r=0.51), “overall clinic care” (r=0.77) and “overall hospital care” (r=0.56). No correlation with age.
Conclusion Our simple instrument for measuring global score for satisfaction for clinic services shows good face validity when compared with ratings for individual aspects of the service. Doctor-related variables were most strongly correlated with global scores. However, global patient-scores are influenced by current state of health, pain and demographic/social variables. Instruments for measuring service-user satisfaction require careful development and interpretation.
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