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Soc Sci Med. 2010 Jun;70(12):1882-1887. doi: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2010.02.035. Epub 2010 Mar 18.

User satisfaction is influenced by the interval between a health care service and the assessment of the service.

Author information

1
Health Services Research Unit, Kolding Hospital/IRS University of Southern Denmark, Skovvangen 2-8, Kolding 6000, Denmark. Electronic address: hanne.irene.jensen@slb.regionsyddanmark.dk.
2
Health Services Research Unit, Kolding Hospital/IRS University of Southern Denmark, Skovvangen 2-8, Kolding 6000, Denmark.
3
Health Services Research Unit, Kolding Hospital/IRS University of Southern Denmark, Skovvangen 2-8, Kolding 6000, Denmark; Department of Paediatrics, Kolding Hospital, Denmark.

Abstract

In order to improve the quality of patient care, questionnaires are often used to identify user's experiences and evaluations, but only a few studies have examined whether measuring user satisfaction at different time points influences the assessment of health care. Several studies have shown equivalency between paper and electronic patient reported outcomes; however, none of these studies have considered the fact that electronic questionnaires are usually completed at the hospital, while paper questionnaires are typically completed at home weeks after the visit. In order to ensure that the comparison of results collected by the two different methods are not biased, the aim of this study was to determine if the interval between an outpatient visit and the assessment of the quality of care influences user satisfaction and to compare response rates between questionnaires completed at different times. In a follow-up study, parents from a paediatric outpatient clinic in Denmark were quasi-randomised to 1 of 3 groups: group 1 completed an electronic questionnaire on a touch screen computer in the outpatient clinic and a paper questionnaire 3-6 weeks after the visit; group 2 completed a paper questionnaire in the outpatient clinic and a paper questionnaire 3-6 weeks after the visit; and group 3 completed a paper questionnaire 3-6 weeks after the visit. A total of 1148 parents completed at least 1 questionnaire. User satisfaction was significantly lower when the assessment was made after a visit to the outpatient clinic compared to an assessment made at the clinic. The response rates of questionnaires completed at the clinic were significantly higher than the response rates of questionnaires completed after the visit. Both the timing of surveys and response rates need to be taken into consideration when planning user surveys. Outcomes from surveys conducted at different times are not readily comparable.

PMID:
20382459
DOI:
10.1016/j.socscimed.2010.02.035
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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