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A pattern approach to analysing patients’ satisfaction and quality of care perceptions in hospital

Vigdis Abrahamsen Grøndahl, Bodil Wilde-Larsson, Marie Louise Hall-Lord, Ingela Karlsson


Rationale, aim and objectives: Patients’ satisfaction and care perceptions are indicators of healthcare quality and the person-centeredness of clinical services. The aim of this study was to explore profiles of patients with respect to two variables: patient satisfaction and patients’ perception of quality of care and to describe and compare person-related and external objective care conditions that characterise the patient profiles.

Methods: This was a cross-sectional study using one questionnaire combining questions from four instruments: Quality from patients’ perspective (QPP), Sense of coherence, Big Five personality traits and Emotional stress reaction questionnaire (ESRQ), together with questions related to socio-demographic aspects and health condition. Patients (N=528) from eight medical, three surgical and one medical/surgical ward in five Norwegian hospitals participated (83.7% response rate). Hierarchical cluster analysis was run to identify clusters of patient regarding satisfaction and perception of care quality. Chi squared tests and one-way MANOVA were performed to characterise the clusters (p<.05).

Results: Three subgroups among 364 patients with complete answers on ESRQ and QPP were identified. Patients in Cluster A (55.2%) were more satisfied and had the best perceptions of care quality. Patients in Cluster B (30.8%) were less satisfied while still having better perceptions. Patients in Cluster C (14.0%) were less satisfied and held the worst perceptions. The clusters were statistically significant characterised by person-related conditions: age, sex, education level, psychological well-being, agreeableness, sense of coherence and subjective importance dimensions of quality of care; and by external objective care conditions: RN (full-time equivalents), bed numbers, models of nursing care, frequency of over-occupancy and admission type.

Conclusion: The results provide healthcare professionals and hospital managers with increased knowledge to design specified interventions to improve satisfaction and perceptions of care quality for each profile group, thereby contributing to the person-centeredness of clinical services.

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