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Validation of a satisfaction survey for rural and urban outpatient dietetic services

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Abstract:

Abstract Background 

Knowledge of the patient's satisfaction with a service is important as satisfied patients are more likely to maintain appointments, return for review appointments and adhere to recommendations. Nutrition professionals need tools to confidently assess the service provision and educational materials provided as part of that service; however, validated satisfaction tools for dietetic services are limited. An outpatient satisfaction survey was developed and was used to assess previously developed inpatient factors of ‘staff presentation’, ‘interpersonal skill’, ‘perceived health benefit’, ‘written information’ and ‘overall expectations’ in an outpatient setting. Method 

An outpatient satisfaction survey was provided subsequent to initial dietetic consultations at a metropolitan hospital and rural health outpatient services. There were 25 statements in total with 24 scored from 1 (strongly agree) to 5 (strongly disagree). Satisfaction with overall service was assessed on a five-point scale from ‘very good’ scored as 1 to ‘very poor’ scored as 5. Results 

The age, gender and proportion of missing data was similar between metropolitan and rural respondents (n = 154). No metropolitan or rural differences were evident with regard to factor analysis or internal consistency. Four factors accounted for 81.3% of the variance, which compared well with the 83.3% achieved with the original tool designed for the inpatient setting. Conclusion 

The outpatient satisfaction tool represents a validated survey for outpatient nutrition services applicable to both rural and metropolitan settings. Patient satisfaction is simply one outcome measure of clinical service provision; however, in increasingly competitive environments the use of validated satisfaction survey results will contribute to measurement of the benefit of dietetic services.

Keywords: dietetic treatment; outpatient department; patient satisfaction; patient-centred outcomes; quality improvement

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-277X.2007.00743.x

Affiliations: 1: Research and Development Dietitian, Nutrition and Dietetic Service, Princess Alexandra Hospital, Brisbane, Australia 2: School of Public Health, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia 3: Allied Health Professions, Royal Brisbane Hospital, Brisbane, Australia

Publication date: 2007-02-01

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