Rheumatology: the expectations and preferences of patients for their follow-up monitoring care: a qualitative study to determine the dimensions of patient satisfaction

J Clin Nurs. 2004 Feb;13(2):234-42. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2702.2003.00873.x.


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.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aftercare / psychology
  • Aftercare / standards*
  • Aged
  • Antirheumatic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Attitude of Health Personnel
  • Choice Behavior
  • Continuity of Patient Care / standards
  • Drug Monitoring / nursing*
  • Drug Monitoring / psychology
  • Drug Monitoring / standards*
  • Empathy
  • Family Practice / standards
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nurse Clinicians / psychology
  • Nurse Clinicians / standards*
  • Nurse Practitioners / psychology
  • Nurse Practitioners / standards*
  • Nurse-Patient Relations
  • Nursing Methodology Research
  • Patient Satisfaction*
  • Primary Health Care / standards
  • Qualitative Research
  • Rheumatic Diseases / drug therapy
  • Rheumatic Diseases / psychology
  • Rheumatology / standards*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires


  • Antirheumatic Agents