OBJECTIVE: To apply and validate an adapted version of an existing adult patient questionnaire in a study of parental satisfaction with paediatric care in a university hospital. DESIGN: A cross-sectional, anonymous questionnaire study. A total of 912 questionnaires were distributed to parents by hospital staff during a 2-week period. SETTING: A university children's hospital in Stockholm, Sweden. STUDY PARTICIPANTS: Six hundred and twenty-four parents whose children were receiving care at the hospital during a 2-week period in April of 1999. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: The 63-item questionnaire uses eight main measurement indices and an overall quality rating to define parental satisfaction with paediatric care. Measures of the instrument's reliability and validity were established by comparison with results of a pilot study conducted 1 year earlier on the paediatric departments of two regional Swedish hospitals. All measures were compared to reliability and validity estimates in the original patient questionnaire. RESULTS: A total of 624 questionnaires were returned, a response rate of 68%. The instrument demonstrated good reliability and validity. Reliability estimates for all eight indices were greater than 0.70 and consistent over time. Inter-index correlations were generally lower than 0.60, indicating index independence. Of the nine parameters measured, parents were most satisfied with staff attitudes, care processes and medical treatment. Parents' ratings were lowest for accessibility and staff work environment. CONCLUSION: This study presents a valid and reliable questionnaire instrument for measuring parental views of paediatric hospital care. The instrument measures the quality of paediatric care from a broader perspective than previously existing parent questionnaires.
The aim of this study was to examine whether there were differences in quality ratings between respondents and non-respondents to a questionnaire concerning parents' views of paediatric care. This study also examined whether quality ratings differed when questionnaire respondents were asked to reassess certain aspects of hospital care in a follow-up questionnaire. A total of 1094 questionnaires were distributed to parents at the hospital. Three weeks later, follow-up questionnaires were sent home to a random sample of 140 parents who had visited the hospital during the 2 weeks when the main questionnaire was distributed. Forty-six per cent of respondents to the follow-up questionnaire had never received the original questionnaire in hospital, while only seven individuals in the follow-up sample were active non-respondents. Analysis of variance revealed that respondents to the follow-up questionnaire who had never received the main questionnaire did not differ significantly from respondents to the main questionnaire in their ratings of key quality domains. There were no statistically significant differences in quality ratings between parents who responded to both questionnaires and parents who responded to the main questionnaire. For hospital management, it is important to be able to trust questionnaire results. Non-response bias can jeopardize the validity of questionnaire results, which is why studies of non-response are important. The current study pinpoints a number of difficulties that need to be considered when conducting investigations of non-response.