Measurement of Patients' Perceptions of the Quality of Acute Stroke Services: Development and Validation of the STROKE Perception Report


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Abstract

INTRODUCTIONPatients' perceptions of healthcare quality have become an important part of quality measurement. We explored patients' and family's lived experiences during acute stroke hospitalization to develop a quantitative instrument.METHODSFocus groups were conducted using open-ended scripted questions. Interview data were coded and analyzed using an inductive approach to thematic analysis. Symmetric patient and family instruments were developed based on qualitative domains and serially refined to a set of 30 survey items, 12 stroke knowledge test items, and 5 subject demographic fields. Scales were evaluated for internal consistency reliability using Cronbach α; construct validity with exploratory factor analysis using principal components with varimax rotation was performed to determine the extent to which items in a scale measure the same underlying factor. Feasibility of an electronic cloud-based survey was also tested.RESULTSThree main themes emerged: fast action to diagnose and treat stroke, genuine caring, and education to prevent and respond to stroke. A total of 1029 subjects completed the final instrument with no differences in perception found by race, ethnicity, or length of stay. Scales showed satisfactory internal consistency reliability (Cronbach α scores, .89–.94); factor loadings across each scale ranged from 0.55 to 0.87. Data entry by electronic pad was perceived by 77% to be more confidential than paper surveys; median score for difficulty was 4 (“easy to use”).CONCLUSIONThe STROKE Perception Report enables understanding of patients' and family's beliefs about the quality of acute stroke care in essential new domains never explored before.

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