• patient perspective;
  • patient satisfaction;
  • quality of care;
  • questionnaires;
  • short form

• Patients' views on the quality of care are important and it is desirable that these can be assessed using short, yet valid and reliable instruments.

• The aim of the work reported here was to develop and test a short version of an established questionnaire: Quality from the Patient's Perspective (QPP).

• Patients (n=162, 79% response rate) receiving care at medical and surgical departments in two Swedish hospitals responded to the original QPP as well as to a newly developed short version. An ethical research committee approved the study.

• Pearson correlations were computed between the long and short forms and differences between means were analysed with t-tests. Reliability was estimated by computing Cronbach alpha coefficients.

• Correlations of acceptable size were found between the short form and the original QPP. The short form also had acceptable reliability coefficients.

• The strengths of the work are that the items in the short version are derived from a patient perspective and are formulated in words used by patients; the items still have a theoretical foundation, which makes the interpretation of results more meaningful; global formulations such as `What do you think about your care?' have been avoided; the short format should make the questionnaire more attractive for many patients to respond to.

• Limitations are that results indicate that the short form does not fully measure what the long form does. Therefore, when the short form is used in practice, a two-step procedure is suggested, where a follow-up is done with a selection of items from the original long form. This selection could be restricted to areas where problems may be suspected, based on the results from the short form.