Questionnaire about patient expectations.
Development of a questionnaire on patients’ expectations in alpha1-antitrypsin deficiency (AATD)
Developed by: L. Fregonese
Pulmonology, Leiden University Medical Centre, Netherlands
Patients seeking help for symptoms usually worry about the causes of their symptoms: they have specific expectations for care, need for information, they request time and services.
Reasons why it is important to measure patients’ expectations are qualitative: fulfilling patients’ needs is an inherent goal of medicine, and quantitative: learning about patients’ expectations helps to identify areas for improvement in health care provision and produces greater satisfaction with care, better adherence to medical advice and better use of the available resources.
Tools to evaluate patients’ expectations and satisfaction have been developed in the past twenty years, so we can conclude that nowadays patients’ expectations are measurable; and conclusions can be drawn from these measurements which have potentially important clinical consequences.
Most used tools are questionnaires and surveys, or direct interviews. There is no clear advantage of one method over the others, since each method has its own biases, thus all methods are allowed in the literature and might be used according to the situation and the logistic needs.
A specific questionnaire for patients affected by AATD
It is intuitive that there might be different needs and expectations in patients with different diseases, depending on: the severity of the disease, the average age of onset of the disease, the availability of treatments, just to mention a few.
Most of the questionnaires/surveys published in the literature investigate what patients expect from the primary care system; only a few questionnaires address expectations from specialist care or explore whether expectations differ between primary and specialist care.
Patients affected by AATD are at high risk of developing lung emphysema at young age. Besides the need to address their expectations as people affected by a progressive, invalidating lung disease, AATD patients might have additional expectations caused by the status of AATD as a rare disease (a disease with a prevalence equal or less than 5 in 10000). People affected by rare diseases have specific needs, resulting from the difficulty in getting the correct diagnosis (with often diagnosis delay and lost of trust in the healthcare system), the scarce availability of treatments, the social isolation.
We decided to develop a specific questionnaire to address needs and expectations of AATD patients. We chose a questionnaire as a method because we aim at reaching a large number of people, through mailing and the web.
The questionnaire is composed of 4 different areas that will be addressed through several specific questions.
AREA 1: Demographic
AREA 2: Experience
AREA 3: Information
AREA 5: Expectations
Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency – Lung Experience and Expectations Questionnaire
Note: the questionnaire is completely anonymous and in no way the names and/or any way of identification of the respondents will be made possible or used for any other purpose than statistical assessment.