How the rehabilitation environment influences patient perception of service quality: A qualitative study

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Objective: To identify elements of the environment that patients consider when evaluating the quality of a care experience in outpatient rehabilitation settings. Design: A qualitative study using a modified grounded theory approach. Data collection used semistructured interviewing during 9 focus groups. Setting: Three postacute ambulatory centers in metropolitan areas. Participants: Adults (N=57; 33 men, 24 women) undergoing outpatient rehabilitation for musculoskeletal conditions/injuries. Interventions: Not applicable. Main Outcome Measures: Not applicable. Results: Participants perceived the quality of rehabilitation service on the basis of their experiences with environmental factors, including 3 physical factors (facility design, ambient conditions, and social factors) and 4 organizational factors (duration of attendance, interruptions during delivery of care, waiting times in the sequence of treatment, and patient safety). Conclusions: This study identifies the specific environmental attributes that patients consider important when evaluating the quality of outpatient rehabilitation settings and develops a patient-based framework for assessing the overall perception of service quality. Further research should work to develop self-report questionnaires about patient experiences with the environment in rehabilitation services to provide empirical and quantitative evidence. © 2013 by the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine.




Medina-Mirapeix, F., Del Baño-Aledo, M. E., Oliveira-Sousa, S. L., Escolar-Reina, P., & Collins, S. M. (2013). How the rehabilitation environment influences patient perception of service quality: A qualitative study. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 94(6), 1112–1117.

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