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Open Access Research article

Development and preliminary validation of a questionnaire to measure satisfaction with home care in Greece: an exploratory factor analysis of polychoric correlations

Vassilis H Aletras12*, Arsenis Kostarelis2, Maria Tsitouridou2, Dimitris Niakas2 and Anna Nicolaou1

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Business Administration, University of Macedonia, 156 Egnatia str., P.O. Box 1591, Thessaloniki 54006, Macedonia, Greece

2 Faculty of Social Sciences, Hellenic Open University, Patra, Greece

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BMC Health Services Research 2010, 10:189  doi:10.1186/1472-6963-10-189

Published: 5 July 2010

Abstract

Background

The primary aim of this study was to develop and psychometrically test a Greek-language instrument for measuring satisfaction with home care. The first empirical evidence about the level of satisfaction with these services in Greece is also provided.

Methods

The questionnaire resulted from literature search, on-site observation and cognitive interviews. It was applied in 2006 to a sample of 201 enrollees of five home care programs in the city of Thessaloniki and contains 31 items that measure satisfaction with individual service attributes and are expressed on a 5-point Likert scale. The latter has been usually considered in practice as an interval scale, although it is in principle ordinal. We thus treated the variable as an ordinal one, but also employed the traditional approach in order to compare the findings. Our analysis was therefore based on ordinal measures such as the polychoric correlation, Kendall's Tau b coefficient and ordinal Cronbach's alpha. Exploratory factor analysis was followed by an assessment of internal consistency reliability, test-retest reliability, construct validity and sensitivity.

Results

Analyses with ordinal and interval scale measures produced in essence very similar results and identified four multi-item scales. Three of these were found to be reliable and valid: socioeconomic change, staff skills and attitudes and service appropriateness. A fourth dimension -service planning- had lower internal consistency reliability and yet very satisfactory test-retest reliability, construct validity and floor and ceiling effects. The global satisfaction scale created was also quite reliable. Overall, participants were satisfied -yet not very satisfied- with home care services. More room for improvement seems to exist for the socio-economic and planning aspects of care and less for staff skills and attitudes and appropriateness of provided services.

Conclusions

The methods developed seem to be a promising tool for the measurement of home care satisfaction in Greece.