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Int J Qual Health Care. 2018 Jun 1;30(5):358-365. doi: 10.1093/intqhc/mzy024.

Hospitalization from the patient perspective: a data linkage study of adults in Australia.

Author information

School of Public Health and Community Medicine, University of New South Wales, Australia.
School of Public Health, University of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.
Faculty of Health (Deakin), School of Nursing and Midwifery (Melbourne), University of Melbourne & Deakin University, Victoria, Australia.
Centre for Team-Based Practice & Learning in Health Care, School of Health Sciences, University of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.
Faculty of Life Sciences & Medicine, King's College London, London, UK.
Royal Australasian College of Dental Surgeon, Level 13/37 York St, Sydney NSW, Australia.
Department of Health Systems and Populations/Australian Institute of Health Innovation, Macquarie University, Sydney NSW, Australia.



Evidence of the patient experience of hospitalization is an essential component of health policy and service improvement but studies often lack a representative population sample or do not examine the influence of patient and hospital characteristics on experiences. We address these gaps by investigating the experiences of a large cohort of recently hospitalized patients aged 45 years and over in New South Wales (NSW), Australia who were identified using data linkage.


Cross-sectional survey.


Hospitals in NSW, Australia.


The Picker Patient Experience Survey (PPE-15) was administered to a random sample of 20 000 patients hospitalized between January and June 2014.

Main outcome measure:

Multivariable negative binomial regression was used to investigate factors associated with a higher PPE-15 score.


There was a 40% response rate (7661 completed surveys received). Respondents often reported a positive experience of being treated with dignity and respect, yet almost 40% wanted to be more involved in decisions about their care. Some respondents identified other problematic aspects of care such as receiving conflicting information from different care providers (18%) and feeling that doctors spoke in front of them as if they were not there (14%). Having an unplanned admission or having an adverse event were both very strongly associated with a poorer patient experience (P < 0.001). No other factors were found to be associated.


Patient involvement in decision-making about care was highlighted as an important area for improvement. Further work is needed to address the challenges experienced by patients, carers and health professionals in achieving a genuine partnership model.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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