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Qual Saf Health Care. 2005 Dec; 14(6): 433–437.
PMCID: PMC1744107

The OutPatient Experiences Questionnaire (OPEQ): data quality, reliability, and validity in patients attending 52 Norwegian hospitals


Objective: To describe the development and evaluation of the OutPatient Experiences Questionnaire (OPEQ) for somatic outpatients.

Design: Literature review, patient interviews, pretesting of questionnaire items, and a cross sectional survey.

Setting: Postal survey of adult outpatient clinics at 52 hospitals in all five regions of Norway during 2003 and 2004.

Subjects: 35 719 patients who had attended an outpatient clinic within the previous 3 weeks.

Results: 19 266 patients (53.9%) responded to the questionnaire. Low levels of missing data suggest that the questionnaire is acceptable to patients. Factor analysis of items applicable to all patients produced three factors: clinic access (two items), communication (six items), and organisation (four items). The remaining items contributed to the hypothesised scales of hospital standards (three items), information (six items), and pre-visit communication (three items). With the exception of the pre-visit communication scale, the levels of Cronbach's alpha were >0.7. With the exception of the hospital standards scale, all produced test-retest correlations that exceeded 0.7. Most of the results of validity testing were as hypothesised. Correlations between the OPEQ scores ranged from 0.30 (clinic access and hospital standards) to 0.73 (communication and information). As hypothesised, scores were significantly related to patient responses to questions about overall satisfaction, general health and age.

Conclusions: The OPEQ is a self-administered questionnaire that includes the most important aspects of patient experience from an outpatient perspective. It has good evidence for internal consistency, test-retest reliability, and validity.

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Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
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