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The association between patients' perception of their overall quality of care and their perception of pain management in the prehospital setting

The association between patients' perception of their overall quality of care and their perception of pain management in the prehospital setting

Prehospital Emergency Care 17(3): 386-391

Our objective was to determine whether there is an association between a patient's impression of his or her overall quality of care and his or her satisfaction with the pain management provided. We hypothesized that satisfaction with pain management would show a significant positive association with a patient's impression of overall quality of care. This was a retrospective review of patient satisfaction data initially collected by a third-party company from January 1, 2007, to September 1, 2010. Participants were randomly selected from all transported patients, proportional to their paramedic-defined acuity level, with a goal of 100 interviews per month. The proportions of patients sampled from each acuity level were 25% priority 1 (high), 50% priority 2 (medium), and 25% priority 3 (low). Patients were excluded if there was no telephone number recorded in the prehospital patient record, no transportation was recorded, or the call was labeled as a psychiatric complaint. All satisfaction questions used a five-point Likert scale with ratings from excellent to poor, which were dichotomized for analysis. The outcome variable was the patient's perception of his or her overall quality of care. The main independent variable was the patient's rating of his or her pain management by emergency medical services (EMS) staff at the scene. Demographic variables were assessed for potential confounding. There were 2,741 patients with complete data for the outcome and main independent variables; 41.7% of the respondents were male and the average age was 54.1 years (standard deviation = 22.6). The overall quality of care was rated as excellent by 65.9% of the patients, whereas 59.2% rated their pain management as excellent. Of the patients who rated their pain management as excellent, 79.0% rated the overall quality of care as excellent, whereas only 21.0% of the patients rated the overall quality of care as excellent if pain management was not excellent. When the patients rated EMS staff as excellent for both helping to control or reduce pain and explaining the medications given, they were 2.7 (95% confidence interval 1.4-5.4) times more likely to rate their overall quality of care as excellent. Our model indicated that pain management was associated with increased perception of overall quality of care only when EMS providers explained the medications provided and their potential side effects.

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Accession: 056243697

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PMID: 23611142

DOI: 10.3109/10903127.2013.764948

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