Psychometric properties of the Quality in Psychiatric Care – Outpatient (QPC–OP) instrument

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The purpose of the present study was to test the psychometric properties and dimensionality of the Quality in Psychiatric Care – Outpatient (QPC–OP) instrument, in order to determine whether the model of QPC that is applicable to the inpatient clinic is also applicable to the outpatient clinic, and to briefly describe the patients' perceptions of quality of psychiatric outpatient care. A sample of 1340 outpatients from 15 general adult psychiatric clinics in Sweden participated in the study. A confirmatory factor analysis revealed that the QPC–OP consists of eight dimensions, and has a factor structure largely corresponding to that of the QCP – Inpatient instrument. The internal consistency of the factors was generally acceptable, except in the case of two, where there were not enough items. Thus, the QPC–OP shows adequate psychometric properties. The patients' ratings of quality of care were generally high; the highest rating was for ‘encounter’ and the lowest for ‘discharge’. The quality of discharge was rated as the lowest among the eight dimensions in 14 of the participating outpatient clinics. Thus, this dimension would seem to indicate an important area for improvement. The QPC–OP includes important aspects of patients' assessments of quality of care, and offers a simple and inexpensive way to evaluate psychiatric outpatient care.

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