Professionals' perceptions of their patients' experiences with fertility care
SourceHuman Reproduction, 26, 5, (2011), pp. 1119-1127
Article / Letter to editor
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SubjectNCEBP 12: Human Reproduction; NCEBP 4: Quality of hospital and integrated care; NCEBP 12: Human Reproduction
BACKGROUND: Patient-centredness is one of the core dimensions of quality of care. It can be monitored with surveys measuring patients' experiences with care. The objective of the present study was to determine to what extent gynaecologists, physicians specializing in infertility and nurses can estimate the level of patient-centredness of their clinic. METHODS: A random sample of 1189 couples with fertility problems and 194 physicians and nurses from 29 Dutch fertility clinics participated in this cross-sectional study. Differences between patients' experiences with fertility care and professionals' perceptions of these experiences as measured with the patient-centredness questionnaire-infertility (PCQ-infertility) were calculated. The questionnaire's structure, comprising one total scale (level 1), seven subscales (level 2) and 46 single items (level 3), was used as a framework. RESULTS: Response rates were 75% (n = 888) in the patient sample and 83% (n = 160) in the professional sample. Independent sample t-tests, corrected for multiple comparisons with the Bonferroni correction method (P < 0.05), showed no significant differences in mean scores on the total scale of patient-centredness for either professionals or patients. At level 2, professionals underestimated most subscales, namely, 'Accessibility', 'Communication', 'Patient involvement' and 'Competence', whereas 'Continuity of care' was overestimated. Professionals significantly and clinically relevantly misjudged 29 care aspects. CONCLUSIONS: Professionals within fertility care cannot adequately evaluate their performance regarding patient-centredness, and specifically the care aspects to which their own patients attribute the greatest improvement potential. Providing detailed feedback might start improvement of patient-centredness and quality of care.
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