Patient/parent assessment of the quality of care

Ambul Pediatr. Jul-Aug 2002;2(4 Suppl):345-8. doi: 10.1367/1539-4409(2002)002<0345:ppaotq>;2.


Providing patient-centered care is an accepted goal in medicine today. Focusing on the patient has drawn attention to the importance of the interpersonal aspects of care, such as communication between the health care provider and patient, or in the case of health care for children, the parent and child. Patients or parents may be the best or only source of information for assessing the personal aspects of care. In research on children, parents generally report on and evaluate the care. Assessing the interpersonal aspects of care has traditionally been referred to as the measurement of patient satisfaction. The varying expectations of patients and the presence of a ceiling effect on the measures often confound the use of patient satisfaction measures for evaluating the quality of care. One trend is to ask respondents to report on the interpersonal aspects of care, rather than to respond about their level of satisfaction. Studies on the assessment of the interpersonal aspects of health care in emergency departments for children are not plentiful. However, research provides some insight into ways in which emergency departments might improve interpersonal aspects of care for children. These include providing a clear picture to patients and parents of what to expect regarding the length of time they will have to wait, taking a caring approach with children and their parents, and explaining clearly to parents what they need to do to care for the child after discharge.

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Consumer Behavior*
  • Emergency Service, Hospital / standards*
  • Health Services Research
  • Humans
  • Parents
  • Patient Satisfaction*
  • Patient-Centered Care
  • Pediatrics / standards*
  • Quality of Health Care*