Development of the National Inpatient Satisfaction Constructs and Items for the United Arab Emirates

International Journal of Applied Health Studies (ISSN: 1742-5263) Volume 1 Issue 3

Masood A. Badri
Professor of Operations Management, College of Business & Economics, United Arab Emirates University

Hamzeh Dodeen
Assistant Professor of Measurement & Evaluation, College of Humanities & Social Sciences, United Arab Emirates University

Mugheer Al Khaili
PhD, Member of the Board, General Authorities for Health Care Services, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates


Mohammed Abdulla
Associate Professor of Management, College of Business & Economics, United Arab Emirates University


The objective of this paper is to develop a valid, reliable and comprehensive questionnaire to measure inpatient satisfaction for healthcare institutions in a developing country such as the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Issues/items of importance to inpatients were generated by extensive literature review, non-structured interviews, panel of experts meeting and focus group seminars and discussions. Inpatients of public and private hospitals completed the 79-item instrument addressing 16 aspects of inpatient care and satisfaction. The questionnaires that used a 10-point rating scale from totally dissatisfied to totally satisfied were administered by well-trained research assistants. On average, it took 20 minutes to complete a questionnaire. A principal component analysis was performed on the items within each dimension to compute loadings and overall measure of satisfaction for each measure using the linear combination of the items. Cronbach alpha coefficients were calculated to estimate the reliability of each scale. Many statistical and traditional methods were utilized to examine the content, construct, discriminant, and face validity of the measures/ instrument. A random sample of inpatients (n = 2729) in hospitals in the eight major cities of UAE participated in the study. Response rate was 88%. The initial 147-item list of prescriptions of inpatient satisfaction was assigned to 16 general categories. Through several phases that included reviews by academics, panel of experts, and a focus group, the list was developed in a 79-item questionnaire. For the 16 dimensions, Cronbach alpha coefficients exceeded the minimum recommended 0.70 level. Content validity was assured by the reliance on literature to develop the instrument. Face, construct, criterion and discriminant validity were also satisfactory. It is recommended that each hospital try to modify the instrument for use in specific wards, sections, units, or functions. Although, physicians, nurses, technicians, and hospital administrators felt that the 79-item instrument contained effective indicators of inpatient satisfaction and hence care; many inpatients voiced their concern on the number of items included in the questionnaire and the time to complete it.

Key words : inpatient satisfaction, developing country, questionnaire, reliability, validity

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