New tool measures patients’ perceptions of stroke care

(HealthDay)—The STROKE Perception Report is a valid and reliable measure of patients’ and family surrogates’ perceptions of the quality of acute stroke hospital services, according to a study published in the October issue of the Journal of Neuroscience Nursing.

Anne W. Alexandrov, Ph.D., from the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis, and colleagues conducted focus groups to understand patients’ and their families’ lived experiences during acute stroke hospitalization. Interviews informed development of a quantitative instrument to measure patients’ perceptions of health care quality. This tool (30 survey items, including 12 stroke knowledge test items and five subject demographic fields) was tested on 1,029 patients at 35 certified stroke centers across the United States.

The researchers found that three main themes emerged: fast action to diagnose and treat stroke; genuine caring; and education to prevent and respond to stroke. Testing of the STROKE (Stroke Treatment, Risk, Outcome Knowledge, Education) Perception Report instrument showed no differences in perception by race, ethnicity, or length of stay. Three-quarters of participants reported that data entry by electronic pad seemed more confidential than paper surveys.

“By understanding these important perceptions of acute stroke services through the eyes of stroke survivors and caregivers, stroke center hospitals are well positioned to improve and celebrate the care they deliver in support of this vulnerable patient population,” the authors write.

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