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Response to: Buchan J.E.F., Corner J. & Bond S. (2003) JAN Forum. Journal of Advanced Nursing 43, 531–534.

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  2. Response to: Buchan J.E.F., Corner J. & Bond S. (2003) JAN Forum. Journal of Advanced Nursing 43, 531–534.
  3. References

Satisfaction is a widely used concept in palliative care, nursing practice and policy to assess service quality. Our paper (Aspinal et al. 2002) identified a number of critical but unresolved issues when the concept of satisfaction is used to assess service quality. Debate and discussion is needed to understand and resolve these issues. We welcome the contributions of Buchan, Corner and Bond (2003) for moving the debate forward.

The concept of satisfaction when used to assess service quality is all too often taken for granted and employed unquestioningly. As such, it can lead tacitly to the assumption that satisfaction means the same thing to all people, across all settings and over time. This may be because of the common and everyday use of the word ‘satisfaction’. Yet, this is not to detract from the concept being ill-defined and under-theorized. This could reflect the relative infancy of the academic base of nursing and palliative care when compared with, for example, sociology. Whatever the reasons, we reiterate the key message from our paper: namely, that satisfaction lacks theoretical clarity, and we remain concerned about its use in studies to assess service quality.

Consequently, there are a number of challenges for nursing practice, research and policy. Crucially, we need to understand more: first, about the constituents of satisfaction; second, about the relationship between satisfaction and quality in nursing and palliative care; and third, about the different perspectives on the concept from all concerned, including service users and professionals, and how these perspectives change. Robust empirical work with a strong theoretical focus is needed to explore these issues if satisfaction is to be used to assess service quality.

References

  1. Top of page
  2. Response to: Buchan J.E.F., Corner J. & Bond S. (2003) JAN Forum. Journal of Advanced Nursing 43, 531–534.
  3. References