Objectives: To assess the reliability and validity of a translated version of the American Hospital-level Consumer Assessment of Health Plans Survey (H-CAHPS) instrument for use in Dutch health care.
Data sources/study setting: Primary survey data from adults aged 18 years or more who were recently discharged from two multispecialty city hospitals in the Netherlands.
Study design: We used forward and backward translation procedures and a panel of experts to adapt the 66-item pilot H-CAHPS into a 70-item Dutch instrument. Descriptive statistics and standard psychometric methods were then used to test the reliability and validity of the new instrument.
Data collection: From late November 2003 to early January 2004, the survey was administered by mail to 1,996 patients discharged within the previous 2 months.
Principal findings: Analyses supported the reliability and validity of the following 7-factor H-CAHPS structure for use in Dutch hospitals: on doctor's communication, nurses' communication, discharge information, communication about medication, pain control, physical environment of hospital, and nursing services. The internal consistency reliability of the scales ranged from 0.60 to 0.88. Items related to "family receiving help when on visit,""hospital staff introducing self," and "admission delays" did not improve the psychometric properties of the new instrument.
Conclusions: These findings suggest that the H-CAHPS instrument is reliable and valid for use in the Dutch context. However, more research will be needed to support its equivalence to the United States version, and its use for between-hospital comparisons.