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Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2013 Jan 9;54(1):266-73. doi: 10.1167/iovs.12-10906.

Factors influencing the success of rural cataract surgery programs in China: the study of hospital administration and relative productivity (SHARP).

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  • 1Department of Preventive Ophthalmology and State Key Laboratory, Zhongshan Ophthalmic Center, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, China.



To explore factors potentially influencing the success or failure of rural Chinese hospitals in increasing cataract surgical output and quality.


Focus groups (FGs, n = 10) were conducted with hospital administrators, doctors, and nurses at 28 county hospitals in Guangdong Province. Discussions explored respondents' views on increasing surgical volume and quality and improving patient satisfaction. Respondents numerically ranked possible strategies to increase surgical volume and quality and patient satisfaction. FG transcripts were independently coded by two reviewers utilizing the constant comparative method following the grounded theory approach, and numerical responses were scored and ranked.


Ten FGs and 77 ranking questionnaires were completed by 33 administrators, 23 doctors, and 21 nurses. Kappa values for the two coders were greater than 0.7 for all three groups. All groups identified a critical need for enhanced management training for hospital directors. Doctors and nurses suggested reducing surgical fees to enhance uptake, although administrators were resistant to this. Although doctors saw the need to improve equipment, administrators felt current material conditions were adequate. Respondents agreed that patient satisfaction was generally high, and did not view increasing patient satisfaction as a priority.


Our findings highlight agreements and disagreements among the three stakeholder groups about improving surgical output and quality, which can inform strategies to improve cataract programs in rural China. Respondents' beliefs about high patient satisfaction are not in accord with other studies in the area, highlighting a potential area for intervention.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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