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Measuring satisfaction with social care amongst older service users: Issues from the literature

Issues of quality and accountability in social care for older people are of increasing importance. A key factor in determining quality is the extent to which older people themselves are satisfied with both the assessment of their needs and the services provided. The 1997 White Paper, Modernising Social Services, stated that local authorities will need to establish authority-wide objectives and performance measures to improve the quality and efficiency of services. In measuring quality, the White Paper stipulated that social service departments would need to design and administer satisfaction surveys as one means of capturing user and carer perceptions and experiences of services. This paper attempts to highlight some of the main issues to be considered when designing and conducting such surveys with older users of community care services. Through a review of the British and North American literature on older people's satisfaction with services, current approaches to measuring satisfaction are outlined and the relationship between the characteristics and circumstances of older people and their responses to satisfaction questions is examined. The paper concludes by offering some solutions to overcoming current problems by drawing conclusions about quality from survey findings, so that older people's opinions about the services they receive can begin to be assessed in a more meaningful way.

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Additional Titles
Health and Social Care in the Community

Key Information

Type of Reference
Jour
Type of Work
Article
Resource Database
Scopus scopus - exported 1/8/16
Publication Year
2000
Issue Number
5
Volume Number
8
Start Page
316-324