Does the method of data collection affect patients' evaluations of quality of care?


Correspondence: Bodil Wilde Larsson Division of Health and Care, Karlstad University, SE-651 88 Karlstad, Sweden. Email:


The aim of the study was to compare two methods of data collection—personal interviews and self-administered questionnaires—with patients' evaluations of the quality of care they received. The sample consisted of 41 matched pairs of inpatients at a medical clinic. In each pair, one patient was interviewed and one responded to a questionnaire. Data were collected using the questionnaire ‘Quality from the Patients Perspective’ (QPP). The QPP consists of 54 items designed to measure the following four quality dimensions: (i) the medical–technical competence and (ii) the degree of identityorientation in the action of the caregivers; (iii) the physical–technical conditions; and (iv) the sociocultural atmosphere of the care organization. Results showed that patients who were interviewed had significantly less favourable scores on the ‘softer’ quality dimension scales—the identity-oriented approach of the caregivers and the sociocultural atmosphere of the care setting. Possible reasons for this were discussed, including the possibility that the questions designed to measure these two dimensions were more abstract and emotionally loaded than the items of the other two quality dimensions.