Parents' perceptions of quality health care.
PURPOSE: To examine differences in definitions of health care quality and the importance of indicators of quality between consumers with dependent children and consumers with no dependents. STUDY DESIGN AND METHODS: This was an exploratory study using a convenience sample of 229 consumers--96 with one or more dependent children and 133 with no dependent children. Consumers were asked four open-ended questions as to their definitions of health care and nursing care quality. Consumers then rated the importance of 27 indicators of quality care. RESULTS: There were no differences between parents with dependent children and other consumers in how quality care was defined. Important indicators of quality nursing care to parents with children were: Being cared for by nurses who are up to date, well informed, and certified in their specialty; being able to communicate with the nurse; spending enough time with the nurse; and teaching by the nurse. Although having access to midwives was of lowest importance to consumers overall, it was significantly more important to subjects with children (p < 0.05). Getting care and services when needed was also more important to parents than to consumers without children (p = 0.05). Parents gave more importance to their interactions with the nurse than did subjects without children (t = 1.93, df = 229, p = 0.05). CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS: Parents and consumers without children have similar views of what constitutes quality nursing care--having nurses who are concerned about them and their children, demonstrating caring behaviors and staying attentive to their needs, being competent and skilled, communicating effectively, and providing the teaching needed for managing their own and their family's health problems.
Oermann, M; Lambert, J; Templin, T
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