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The nature of patient complaints: a resource for healthcare improvements
Faculty of Caring Science, Work Life and Social Welfare, University of Borås, Sweden.
Mälardalen University, School of Health, Care and Social Welfare, Health and Welfare. Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences, Uppsala University, Sweden.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-4302-5529
School of Health Sciences, University of Brighton, United Kingdom.
Faculty of Caring Science, Work Life and Social Welfare, University of Borås, Sweden.
2019 (English)In: International Journal for Quality in Health Care, ISSN 1353-4505, E-ISSN 1464-3677, Vol. 31, no 7, p. 556-562Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to explore the nature, potential usefulness and meaning of complaints lodged by patients and their relatives. DESIGN: A retrospective, descriptive design was used. SETTING: The study was based on a sample of formal patient complaints made through a patient complaint reporting system for publicly funded healthcare services in Sweden. PARTICIPANTS: A systematic random sample of 170 patient complaints was yielded from a total of 5689 patient complaints made in a Swedish county in 2015. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE: Themes emerging from patient complaints analysed using a qualitative thematic method. RESULTS: The patient complaints reported patients' or their relatives' experiences of disadvantages and problems faced when seeking healthcare services. The meanings of the complaints reflected six themes regarding access to healthcare services, continuity and follow-up, incidents and patient harm, communication, attitudes and approaches, and healthcare options pursued against the patient's wishes. CONCLUSIONS: The patient complaints analysed in this study clearly indicate a number of specific areas that commonly give rise to dissatisfaction; however, the key findings point to the significance of patients' exposure and vulnerability. The findings suggest that communication needs to be improved overall and that patient vulnerability could be successfully reduced with a strong interpersonal focus. Prerequisites for meeting patients' needs include accounting for patients' preferences and views both at the individual and organizational levels. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
NLM (Medline) , 2019. Vol. 31, no 7, p. 556-562
Keywords [en]
dissatisfaction, experiences, healthcare, patient complaints, qualitative approach, adult, article, female, follow up, human, major clinical study, male, patient harm, random sample, relative, Sweden
National Category
Social and Clinical Pharmacy Nursing
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-46156DOI: 10.1093/intqhc/mzy215ISI: 515087500017PubMedID: 30346537Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85074727777OAI: oai:DiVA.org:mdh-46156DiVA, id: diva2:1376869
Available from: 2019-12-10 Created: 2019-12-10 Last updated: 2020-03-16Bibliographically approved

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Holmström, Inger K.

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