A qualitative analysis of free‑text patient satisfaction responses in Care Response, a database of patient‑reported outcome and experience measures

Young, Kenneth J orcid iconORCID: 0000-0001-8837-7977, Young, Helen C and Field, Jonathan (2024) A qualitative analysis of free‑text patient satisfaction responses in Care Response, a database of patient‑reported outcome and experience measures. Chiropractic and Manual Therapies, 32 (2). ISSN 2045-709X

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1186/s12998-023-00528-7


Background: Databases have become important tools in improving health care. Care Response is a database containing information on tens of thousands of chiropractic patients internationally. It has been collecting patient-reported outcomes and patient satisfaction information for more than 10 years. The purpose of this study was to contribute to the understanding of patient perceptions and priorities for chiropractic care by analysing free text entered into the patient reported experience measure (PREM) questionnaires within the Care Response system. Methods: There were two questions of interest on the PREM for this study. One requested information about “good points” patients perceived about patients’ care experience, and the other requested information on “improvements” that could make the experience better. We conducted a word frequency analysis using a word counting macro in Microsoft Word, then used those results as a starting point for a qualitative analysis. Data were collected on 30 May 2022. Results: The people who participated in the Care Response system often reported positive experiences with their chiropractors, including that they had reduced pain, improved function, and felt validated in their clinical condition. In addition, they appreciated having diagnostic and treatment procedures explained to them. They valued friendly, professional, and on-time service. The negative experiences were the opposite: being rushed through treatment, that the treatment was not worth the cost, or that they weren’t treated professionally, empathetically, or with respect for them as individuals. The most important themes that emerged under “good points” were satisfaction (with care), value (as a person), safety, comfort, and professionalism. Their opposites, dissatisfaction, lack of value, lack of safety, lack of comfort, and lack of professionalism emerged as the most important themes under “improvements”. We report some nuances of patient experience that have not previously been explored in the literature. Conclusions: Respondents seemed to value effective care provided in a safe, professional, friendly, and aesthetically pleasing environment. Chiropractors should note these priorities and engage with patients according to them. Education institutions should consider how good practice in these areas might be incorporated into curricula.

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