Background. Governmental reviews of out-of-hours services in England and Scotland have recommended that a standard questionnaire should be used to assess patient satisfaction. This is important because of the rapid introduction of new forms of care.
Objective. To produce a brief, reliable and valid measure of patient satisfaction for use by a wide variety of providers of out-of-hours primary care.
Methods. The Short Questionnaire for Out-of-Hours care was designed and compared with a longer questionnaire which had been validated and used in earlier research. Questionnaires were sent to 1906 people contacting an out-of-hours GP co-operative. Three versions of the short questionnaire were used with different formats. Analysis compared the response rates, measurement properties, concurrent and construct validity of the short and long questionnaires, and of different versions of the short questionnaire.
Results and conclusions. There was no significant difference in the overall response rates obtained from the short or long questionnaires (45.7% versus 41.9%; P = 0.17). The effective response rate of questionnaires from which all satisfaction scales could be calculated was higher for the short questionnaire (43.0% versus 36.4%; P = 0.01). There were no significant differences in response rates or distribution of responses between different versions of the short questionnaire. There was moderate agreement between items on the short questionnaire and corresponding scales on the long questionnaire. Scores using the short questionnaire showed anticipated relationships with the age and sex of patients and with characteristics of how the service was delivered. The SQOC is valid and reliable for routine service use.
- family practice
- night care
- patient satisfaction
- primary medical care
- one general-practice