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Patients’ experiences of care quality and satisfaction during hospital stay: a qualitative study

Vigdis Abrahamsen Grondahl, Bodil Wilde-Larsson, Ingela Karlsson, Marie Louise Hall-Lord


Rationale, aim and objectives: Patients experiencing high care quality and satisfied patients are more likely to follow treatments. Patient satisfaction is an important contributor to physical and mental health-related quality of life. Research emphasises the need to further study satisfaction from the patients’ perspective. The aim was to describe patients’ experiences of care quality and the relation to their satisfaction during hospital stay. 

Methods: A qualitative descriptive design was used. Interviews were conducted with 22 patients discharged from hospital. Data was analysed by conventional content analysis.

Results: Four categories and seven subcategories describing patients’ experiences of care quality and the relation to their satisfaction emerged. Desire to regain health comprised waiting for treatment, being cured, having hopes of being cured and described the treatment and health outcome of hospitalisation. Need to be met in a professional way as a unique person comprised receiving personalized knowledge, receiving healthcare by competent healthcare personnel and described the way patients need to be met by healthcare personnel. Need to be involved comprised taking responsibility for own health, leaving responsibility for own health and concerned the patients’ way of handling hospitalisation. Need to have balance between privacy and companionship concerned the relationship to fellow patients.

Conclusions: Health condition is of great importance to patients’ experiences of quality of care and their satisfaction in relation to hospital stay. The healthcare personnel need to be aware that seriously ill patients may never be completely satisfied. Furthermore, healthcare personnel must do their utmost to provide the patients with person-centered care.  Hospital managers must consider the design of wards with respect to such matters as multiple-bed versus single-bed rooms and heads of nursing must carefully plan each patient’s accommodation.

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