How do patients judge their quality of care?

by Leanne Gay Jones

Institution: University of Newcastle
Year: 2014
Keywords: patient preferences; Best Worst Scaling; response times
Record ID: 1059618
Full text PDF: http://hdl.handle.net/1959.13/1049247


Professional Doctorate - Clinical and Health Psychology The length of waiting time to see a health care professional is often cited as a key consideration when evaluating the provision of health care services. Although there has been a considerable amount of research on waiting time itself, there has been little research on how important it is when compared to other attributes and even less research on patients’ perceptions of these attributes. A moderate amount of research has been carried out on therapist characteristics and although this feeds into the attributes of ‘expertise’ and to a lesser extent ‘thorough care’, there is again, a paucity of research on patients’ perceptions of these attributes, particularly thoroughness of care, and a dearth of research on the attribute of ‘convenience’ and how important it is to patients. The importance of obtaining feedback from patients is increasingly being acknowledged as vital when considering improving the quality of, and satisfaction with, health sector services. Added to the limited amount of information that is available, is its lack of robustness, primarily due to the problems that have been associated with traditional methods of gathering feedback. This study notes the limitations of traditional self report scales and has utilised a relatively new method to gather and analyse responses, namely, Best-Worst Scaling (BWS). BWS sits under the broad umbrella of Discrete Choice Experiments (DCEs), which have been shown to produce valuable information in health research. DCEs involve asking respondents to select between different types of services (or products) described in terms of various attributes. The current study aims to highlight the considerable contribution that BWS can make to research in this field.