Background Measures of patient satisfaction have become increasingly important in modern healthcare and clinical research. We aimed to assess and quantify factors relating to patient satisfaction in the London COPD cohort.
Methods Questionnaires were posted to patients in the London COPD cohort (anonymised to clinic staff) including categorical items (Likert scale or Yes/No) and freetext boxes. Data were analysed from the last stable state visit before October 2010 including demographics, spirometry, MRC dyspnoea, and St George's Respiratory Questionnaire (SGRQ) scores. Data were analysed using Spearman's rank correlation, Mann–Whitney U and χ2 tests.
Results 130 respondents (response rate 68%) had a mean (±SD) age of 73.4 (±8.8) years and mean FEV1 50.6% (±19.3%) predicted. 55% were male, 26% were current smokers with median (IQR) pack year history of 47 (26–73). There were no significant differences between respondents and non-respondents. 96% of respondents reported that they were very satisfied (74%) or satisfied (22%) with the COPD research (Abstract P217 figure 1). Satisfaction correlated with providing prompt and appropriate treatment at exacerbation onset (r=0.419, p<0.001) and during routine visits (r=0.577, p<0.001). Satisfaction also correlated with several staff-related factors: courteousness (r=0.545, p<0.001), being easy to contact (r=0.498, p<0.001), providing advice on symptom diaries (r=0.553, p<0.001), explaining exacerbation recognition (r=0.507, p<0.001), explaining research investigations (r=0.622, p<0.001), feeding back individual results (r=0.476, p<0.001), and overall research findings (r=0.409, p<0.001). It also correlated with patients feeling more confident managing their COPD and exacerbations (r=0.465, p<0.001). Patients who were in the cohort for longer were more likely to be more satisfied (r=0.289, p=0.001). There was no correlation between satisfaction and age, gender, spirometry, smoking, BMI, SGRQ or MRC dyspnoea scores. 94% reported less anxiety knowing they could call the doctors at any time, 77% felt they attended A&E less since joining the cohort, 80% were less likely to visit their GP at exacerbation.
Conclusions Patient satisfaction is very high in the London COPD cohort and was associated with positive staff interactions, prompt exacerbation treatment and detailed explanations. Involvement in the cohort also led most patients to feel less anxious, reportedly attending A&E and GP services less frequently.
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