Purpose: To obtain information about the wishes and experiences of patients with a lower limb amputation with regard to prosthetic prescription and their exchange of information with the healthcare providers.
Design: Cross-sectional questionnaire.
Setting: Outpatient clinic of a Rehabilitation Centre.
Study participants: A random sample of patients with a lower limb amputation (n = 81).
Main outcome measures: In analogy with the QUOTE questionnaire a focus group technique was used. Prosthetic users formulated 24 specific items, which were of importance according to them. The items were divided into 4 categories: (i) service demand, (ii) prosthetic prescription, (iii) information, (iv) insurance aspects. The questionnaire consisted of two sets (A and B) of 24 items rating importance of items and experience in everyday practice. To identify different dimensions within the 24 items, a factor analysis in SPSS was performed for lists A and B followed by a varimax rotation. Impact factors were calculated by multiplying the mean score of importance on an item with the percentage of patients that experienced this item as negative.
Results: A total of 113 questionnaires were sent by e-mail with a response of 73%. The outcomes of the questionnaires resulted in 2 sets of information: One concerning the importance of several items in the process of prosthetic prescription, the other the experience of the prosthetic user about those items. By multiplying the scores on importance by the percentage of negative experience per item (impact score) points of improvement for clinical practice were formulated.
Conclusions: A discrepancy between the needs of patients and what they experience in their contacts with clinical professionals as the most important dimension was noticed. A questionnaire with specific items for a homogeneous target group is a good method to formulate points of improvement for clinical practice in healthcare.