Essential tips for measuring levels of consumer satisfaction with rural health service quality.
ABSTRACT Quality of health services is a matter of increasing importance to health authorities. Monitoring consumer satisfaction of health care is an important input to improving the quality of health services. This article highlights a number of important considerations learned from rural consumer studies relevant to ensuring the valid measurement of consumer satisfaction with rural health services, as a means of contributing to quality improvements.
This article compares two methods of analysing rural consumers' satisfaction with healthcare services. In one study of three rural communities in western New South Wales (NSW) and eight communities in north-west Victoria, residents were asked to rate their satisfaction with five key aspects of local health services (availability, geographical accessibility, choice, continuity, economic accessibility as measured by affordability) using a 5 point Likert scale from: one = very satisfied to five = very dissatisfied. An alternative method of assessing levels of consumer satisfaction was undertaken in the survey of eight rural communities in north-west Victoria by investigating consumers' experiences with actual and potential complaints in relation to health services.
Both the NSW and Victorian respondents reported generally high levels of satisfaction with the five indicators of quality of health care. At the same time, 11% of Victorian study respondents reported having made a complaint about a health service in the previous 12 months, and one-third of the Victorian respondents reported experiences with their health services about which they wanted to complain but did not, over the same period.
Interpretation of apparent consumer satisfaction with their health services must take particular account of the measures and research methods used. In assessing consumer satisfaction with health services in rural areas, specific attention should be given to maximising the engagement of rural consumers in order to ensure representativeness of findings, and to minimise possible biases in satisfaction ratings associated with the use of particular tools.
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ABSTRACT: A group of 158 service members who sustained major limb amputations during the global war on terrorism were surveyed on their satisfaction with the quality of care received from the Walter Reed Army Medical Center (WRAMC) Amputee Clinic from the time of their injury to their inpatient discharge. Of these participants, 96% were male, 77% were Caucasian, 89% were enlisted personnel, and 68% had sustained lower-limb amputations. WRAMC inpatient therapy, peer visitors, overall medical care, and pain management received particularly high satisfaction ratings. Age, race, rank, and level and side of amputation had little effect on overall satisfaction ratings. Significant differences, however, were found by location of injury (Iraq vs Afghanistan, Cuba, and Africa) regarding satisfaction with care received while in Europe and with the education process at WRAMC. Study findings strongly support the rehabilitation-based, integrative care approach designed by the U.S. military to care for service members with amputations.The Journal of Rehabilitation Research and Development 02/2008; 45(7):953-60. · 1.78 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: This study examined rural women's satisfaction with the interaction and communication with their surgeon during diagnosis and treatment planning for early breast cancer. Differences in satisfaction were investigated between treatment groups (mastectomy and breast conservation surgery) and demographic variables (age, marital status, education level, employment status and place of residence). Practice was compared with clinical practice guidelines. The study was designed as a cross-sectional survey. The study was set in Eastern regional Victoria, Australia. Seventy women diagnosed with early breast cancer participated in the study. The main outcome measures used by the study were satisfaction in three areas of practice: (i) telling a woman she has breast cancer; (ii) providing information and involving the woman in the decision-making; and (iii) preparing the woman for specific management. No differences in satisfaction were found between treatment groups and demographic variables. Overall, women in this study were highly satisfied (>93%) with the interaction and communication with their surgeon. Women reported that the surgeon created a supportive environment for discussion, that they were provided with adequate information and referrals, and that they were actively involved in the decision-making. Practice could have been improved for women who were alone at diagnosis as women without a partner made a quicker decision about treatment. Rural women in Victoria Australia were largely satisfied with the interaction and communication with their surgeon during diagnosis and treatment planning for early breast cancer. Current practice was predominately in line with clinical practice guidelines.Australian Journal of Rural Health 02/2012; 20(1):22-8. · 1.55 Impact Factor