Background: Patient satisfaction has rarely been defined. It is a multi-dimensional concept and relates to expectations and preferences for care. This paper reports the findings of a study to determine the expectations and preferences of rheumatology patients for their follow-up monitoring care.
Aims and objectives: To identify the dimensions of satisfaction important to rheumatology patients in the provision of their care in two locations; primary and secondary. The objectives were to determine the expectations and preferences of this group and to gather data to inform a larger study of patient satisfaction.
Design: This small qualitative study used semi-structured interviews with a convenient sample of 10 patients; five from each location.
Methods: Interviews were recorded and transcribed. Qualitative data analysis revealed a framework and conceptual categories.
Results: Empathy, specialism, information provision, technical aspects, time, and continuity of care were identified as being important in the provision of care for this group of patients.
Conclusions: These categories had already been found in a validated questionnaire and justified the use of this tool in the larger comparative study.
Relevance to clinical practice: Patient satisfaction cannot be accurately assessed unless important categories of care are identified and used in the measurement tool.