Contributors to surgical in-patient satisfaction-development and reliability of a targeted instrument

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OBJECTIVE: Patient satisfaction is an important indicator of healthcare system performance. High patient satisfaction is associated with greater trust in caregivers, improved compliance with treatment recommendations and a better quality of life (QOL). There are few validated instruments to measure surgical patients' satisfaction. The aim of this study was to develop a culturally-specific patient satisfaction instrument, for use as an outcome measure in evaluating surgical services. DESIGN: Patient focus groups were convened to explore dimensions of the peri-operative hospital experience. Forums uncovered pertinent domains of interest and identified terminology understood by patients. A preliminary set of items reflecting patient satisfaction was developed. Test-retest reliability of a new surgical patient satisfaction instrument was assessed in 42 subjects at hospital discharge. RESULTS: Domains that emerged included; admission processes and hospital environment, information provision, nursing care, doctor and nurse interaction, and ancillary staff services. Staff attitudes and human qualities were highly valued, as was prompt attention to requests for assistance. Clarity or quality of medical information did not appear to influence in-patient satisfaction. A new measure of surgical patient satisfaction, Hong Kong Index of Inpatient Happiness (HK2Happ), was developed from focus group consultation. Test-retest generated an Intra Class Correlation of 0.868-0.935, indicating a highly stable tool. CONCLUSIONS: The initial version of HK2Happ was reliable in assessing surgical patient satisfaction. The measure is now undergoing validity testing across different surgical patient populations for generalisation and generation of a short form of discriminant items. © 2009 Elsevier. All rights reserved.




Cheung, C. S. K., Bower, W. F., Kwok, S. C. B., & Van Hasselt, C. A. (2009). Contributors to surgical in-patient satisfaction-development and reliability of a targeted instrument. Asian Journal of Surgery, 32(3), 143–150.

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