Experiences and preferences of patients visiting an otorhinolaryngology outpatient clinic: a qualitative study

J.E. van Leijen-Zeelenberg*, G.W. Huismans, J.A.S. Bisschop, Jan Wouter Brunings, A.J.A. van Raak, D. Ruwaard, H.J.M. Vrijhoef, B. Kremer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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BACKGROUND: Patient-centred care has received considerable attention in the last few decades, but the patients' perspective remains underexposed. This study reports on an in-depth evaluation of patients' experiences and preferences at an otorhinolaryngology outpatient department. METHODS: Qualitative research was conducted on patients' experiences and preferences at an otorhinolaryngology outpatient department in an academic hospital. The study comprised two phases. First, semi-structured interviews were held with 22 patients. Second, results from the interviews were verified and deepened in a focus group (N = 7). RESULTS: Overall, experience with patient-centred care was positive at the outpatient department. Three of the six dimensions of patient-centred care predominated in the interviews and the focus group: information, communication and education; coordination and integration of care; and respect for patients' values, preferences and expressed needs. The negative experiences were mostly in these dimensions. The dimensions physical comfort and involvement of family and friends were of lesser significance. Opinion on emotional support - relieving fear and anxiety differed as to whether this was the responsibility of the doctor or the patient. CONCLUSION: Qualitative research provided a deeper understanding of patients' experiences and preferences at an otorhinolaryngology outpatient department. Such an in-depth evaluation can be useful in the transition towards patient-centred care.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)275-287
Number of pages13
JournalHealth Expectations
Issue number2
Early online date26 Jan 2015
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2016


  • otorhinolaryngology
  • patient experiences
  • patient preferences
  • patient-centered care
  • qualitative research

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