Patients’ views on quality of care: do they merely reflect their sense of coherence?
The aim was to explore the relationship between patients’ perceptions of the quality of care and their sense of coherence. The sample consisted of 782 Swedish in-patients at a gynaecological, a medical, an orthopaedic, and a surgical department. The median age was 59 years and 55% of the patients were women. Data were collected using the Quality from the Patient’s Perspective (QPP) Questionnaire and the Sense of Coherence Questionnaire. The QPP consists of 61 items designed to measure the following four quality dimensions: the medical-technical competence and the degree of identity-orientation in the actions of the caregivers, the physical-technical conditions and the socio-cultural atmosphere of the care organization. Each question is posed in two different ways in the QPP; one measures perceived reality of the item in question and one the subjective importance the patient ascribes to it. Results showed that patients’ ratings of perceived reality covaried systematically with their sense of coherence. This was particularly the case on questions rated by experts to be more abstract and emotionally loaded. Patients’ ratings of the subjective importance of the items were weakly related to their sense of coherence. The results are discussed in terms of negative affectivity and culturally shared ideals regarding quality of care.