Few studies have investigated patient priorities within hospital care. Knowledge of patient priorities is important for the purpose of making quality improvements in hospital care. In relation to this, it is important to know whether different groups of patients have qualitative different priorities.
A postal questionnaire was mailed to 3676 surgical patients after discharge from five Danish hospitals. Out of this figure, 2380 participated in the survey and 1597 were qualified for inclusion in the analyses.
Data was analysed by graphical loglinear Rasch models. Thirty-six hospital care aspects were included in the final model.
To a great extent, patients agreed on the prioritised order of the hospital care aspects investigated. Avoidance of errors and professional health care skills had highest priority. Qualitative differences in priorities were mainly found among different age groups; the younger patients found that information was more important than the older patients, who on the other hand found continuity of care to be more important. Quantitative differences were observed, with patients harbouring different views on of the importance of hospital care in general; on average, women rated this slightly more important than men.