The present thesis has its roots in the need to measure and evaluate quality of care, especially in times when resources allocated to health- and medical care are being limited. This is of concern for many groups in society, but perhaps mOst of all for patients, hospital staff and politicians.
The main purpose of the thesis was to develop methods for measuring quality of care within nursing.
The thesis has been organised in three main parts, the first of which deals with the principal concepts in this research,in addition to research and develop- ment in existing instruments for measuring quality of care. The second part contains the empirical study and its results. Finally, the third part deals with the development of variables for methods of measurement based on the empirical study: it also looks ahead, at visions and viewpoints governing future research and development work.
Data collection was carried out by means of a thematic interview, and by measuring attitudes to quality of care on a modified attitude scale based on Osgood's semantic differential. The interview group comprised 128 people; 25 patients and 25 staff members at a local hospital, 25 patients and 27 staff members at a health centre, and 26 county council politicians. The interview material was analysed inductively using qualitative and quantitative content analysis. On analysing the three themes which dealt with the interviewees' perception of health, quality of life as a result of care received, the quality of selfcare as well as care goals, literature studies were added which dealt with the above-mentioned phenomena.
The result of the interview study, and the literature studies included in the analysis phase, can be stated in brief, that the main focus in the perception of quality of care held by the patients, the staff and the politicians was on 1) the quality of the staff, with an emphasis on the characteristics and skills of the staff, 2) quality in implementing care, involving care measures of an affective nature and the quality of the patient- staff relationship, and 3) the patient-related quality of results, consisting of such changes in the patient's health status as a cure or a change in health; cognitively oriented results like better knowledge about one's condition; wellbeing as a result of care; satisfaction with the care and treatment provided, and with the staff.
The result of the attitudes survey was that politicians were the most positive towards the quality of the care provided, while the personal at the health centre were the least positive. Of the various professional categories interviewed, physicians were the most positive. Other staff comprising paramedical groups were the least positive.
Further groups of variables have been generated from the data collected and from the literature studies in order to extend the evaluation of the quality of nursing care. All of the variable groups developed in the present thesis have been named and grouped together in a system called the KISAAL system, after the initials of the author. The different groups of variables can be related to each other to facilitate a total assessment of the quality of nursing care, and its management.
Linköping: Linköpings universitet , 1995. , 286 p.
1995-09-29, Berzeliussalen, Universitetssjukhuset, Linköping, 09:00 (Swedish)
Papers, included in the Ph.D. thesis, are not registered and included in the posts from 1999 and backwards.