Open Access Open Badges Research article

Item generation in the development of an inpatient experience questionnaire: a qualitative study

Eliza LY Wong1*, Angela Coulter2, Annie WL Cheung1, Carrie HK Yam1, Eng-Kiong Yeoh1 and Sian Griffiths1

Author Affiliations

1 The Jockey Club School of Public Health and Primary Care Faculty of Medicine, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China

2 Department of Public Health, University of Oxford, England, UK

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BMC Health Services Research 2013, 13:265  doi:10.1186/1472-6963-13-265

Published: 9 July 2013



Patient experience is a key feature of quality improvement in modern health-care delivery. Measuring patient experience is one of several tools used to assess and monitor the quality of health services. This study aims to develop a tool for assessing patient experience with inpatient care in public hospitals in Hong Kong.


Based on the General Inpatient Questionnaire (GIQ) framework of the Care Quality Commission as a discussion guide, a qualitative study involving focus group discussions and in-depth individual interviews with patients was employed to develop a tool for measuring inpatient experience in Hong Kong.


All participants agreed that a patient satisfaction survey is an important platform for collecting patients’ views on improving the quality of health-care services. Findings of the focus group discussions and in-depth individual interviews identified nine key themes as important hospital quality indicators: prompt access, information provision, care and involvement in decision making, physical and emotional needs, coordination of care, respect and privacy, environment and facilities, handling of patient feedback, and overall care from health-care professionals and quality of care. Privacy, complaint mechanisms, patient involvement, and information provision were further highlighted as particularly important areas for item revision by the in-depth individual interviews. Thus, the initial version of the Hong Kong Inpatient Experience Questionnaire (HKIEQ), comprising 58 core items under nine themes, was developed.


A set of dimensions and core items of the HKIEQ was developed and the instrument will undergo validity and reliability tests through a validation survey. A valid and reliable tool is important in accurately assessing patient experience with care delivery in hospitals to improve the quality of health-care services.

Patient experience; Patient satisfaction survey; Inpatient experience questionnaire