Aims: Measuring patient satisfaction in anaesthesia is a difficult process. As part of a project to improve the patient journey through theatre, our aim was to assess patient satisfaction and analyse patients' pre-op fears and concerns.
Methods: Our audit included adult patients undergoing elective or trauma (orthopaedic) surgery in main theatres. We used the LPPSq (max score 105) which is divided into: pre-op information (20), pre-op fears and concerns (20) and staff-patient relationship (65). After pre-op consent, patients were seen on the ward within 1 day of surgery.
Results: We collected data on 188 patients, 48.4% females and 51.6% males. The median age was 54 years (17-92). The mean score for information was 17.4/20 (87.1%), for staff-patient relationship 56.4/65 (86.8%) but for fears and concerns it was only 8.4/20 (40.5%). This gave a mean overall score of 80.1/105 (78%).
98.4% patients stated staff were “attentive to their needs”, 97.3% said staff acted “according to their needs”, 97.3% experienced “professional competence” and 92.6% were satisfied with the overall anaesthetic experience. There was no statistically significant difference in subgroup analysis based on sex or age. The highest satisfaction scores were in orthopaedic trauma patients (80.4%) and least in the colorectal group (74.8%).
Discussion: Our patients scored their anaesthetic experience highly with regard to staff-patient relationship, professional competence, attention to patients' needs and overall satisfaction. The main determinant of patient satisfaction in overall anaesthetic care is how staff act on problems (staff-patient relationship), in which we scored highly. However our patients scored lower than other studies in “fears and concerns”, significantly lowering the overall LPPSq score. We postulated lack of information and therefore lack of insight as possible cause. But, conversely our patients scored highly in “pre-operative information” questions, indicating satisfaction with the quality and quantity of information received.
Our high scores in stand-alone questions covering overall anaesthetic and theatre experience were directly comparable with previous years audit scores. However, we have shown the LPPSq may not be the best assessment tool for our patient population with regards to “fears and concerns”. A low score in this section skews the final rating. We are undertaking work to establish whether other patient satisfaction questionnaires are more suitable.