Objective: To identify elements of the environment that patients consider when evaluating the quality of a care experience in outpatient rehabilitation settings.
Design: A qualitative study using a modified grounded theory approach. Data collection used semistructured interviewing during 9 focus groups.
Setting: Three postacute ambulatory centers in metropolitan areas.
Participants: Adults (N=57; 33 men, 24 women) undergoing outpatient rehabilitation for musculoskeletal conditions/injuries.
Interventions: Not applicable.
Main outcome measures: Not applicable.
Results: Participants perceived the quality of rehabilitation service on the basis of their experiences with environmental factors, including 3 physical factors (facility design, ambient conditions, and social factors) and 4 organizational factors (duration of attendance, interruptions during delivery of care, waiting times in the sequence of treatment, and patient safety).
Conclusions: This study identifies the specific environmental attributes that patients consider important when evaluating the quality of outpatient rehabilitation settings and develops a patient-based framework for assessing the overall perception of service quality. Further research should work to develop self-report questionnaires about patient experiences with the environment in rehabilitation services to provide empirical and quantitative evidence.
Copyright © 2013 American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.