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Changes over time in the importance patients ascribe to different aspects of care: on the need to improve person-centeredness

Gerry Larsson, Bodil Wilde-Larsson


Rational and aim: Knowledge of which aspects of care are more important to patients is crucial for health providers. The aim of the work presented here was to explore changes over time in patients’ preferences in hospital and in out-patient settings.

Method: Cross-sectional data were collected among patients at a number of Swedish hospital wards and out-patient clinics in 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2008 (N = 46,525). Data for men and women were analysed separately. The main outcome measure consisted of replies to the questionnaire “Quality from the Patient’s Perspective” (QPP) (numerous references).

Results: (1) Subjective importance (preference) ratings increased throughout the time period studied, (2) in-patients gave higher ratings than out-patients and (3) women gave higher ratings than men, particularly in out-patient settings.

Conclusion: The increase over time in ratings of the importance ascribed to different aspects of care may reflect a general trend towards strengthened consciousness among citizens as consumers of care and is an important index for improving the person-centeredness of clinical services.


Gender, in- and out-patient settings, patients’ preferences, person-centered care, quality of care

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