Background Colonoscopy is a frequently performed procedure associated with a substantial burden for the patient. Most of what is known about patient satisfaction stems from surveys that target issues doctors believe to be important. It has been noticed that patients often focus on different aspects.
Aim To have patients and endoscopists rate the extent to which each of a list of patient-generated issues-of-concern contributes to patient satisfaction with the colonoscopy procedure.
Subjects A sample of consecutive patients undergoing colonoscopy in a Dutch tertiary teaching hospital and a convenience sample of endoscopists.
Methods Colonoscopy patients and endoscopists were asked to rate on a five-point Likert scale the importance of 55 items concerning the colonoscopy procedure for patient satisfaction. Items were derived from focus group sessions with colonoscopy patients. Endoscopists were invited to rate the importance of the same set of items from a patient perspective. An analysis was carried out of whether patients and endoscopists rated the importance of items differently.
Results 69 patients and 34 endoscopists completed the questionnaire. The ratings of the endoscopists were significantly different from those of patients (p<0.0001). Endoscopists underestimated the importance of involving patients in decisions, discussing risks and complications, providing the opportunity for substantive questions and offering a comfortable temperature in the examination room. Endoscopists overestimated the importance of adverse physical symptoms, such as pain and abdominal cramps, and the role of the treating doctor.
Conclusions Endoscopists do not have a good perception of the items that contribute most to patient satisfaction with the colonoscopy procedure. Overcoming this gap may be an essential step towards improving patient satisfaction by targeting those concerns most relevant to patients.
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Contributors MJD study concept and design; acquisition of data; analysis and interpretation of data; drafting of the manuscript; statistical analysis; administration. MD: study concept and design; critical revision of the manuscript for important intellectual content. BD: study concept and design; acquisition of data; critical revision of the manuscript for important intellectual content; technical support. PB: study concept and design, analysis and interpretation of data, critical revision of the manuscript for important intellectual content, statistical analysis. PF: study concept and design, critical revision of the manuscript for important intellectual content. ED: study concept and design, study supervision; critical revision of the manuscript for important intellectual content, obtained funding.
Competing interests None.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
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