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Title:Overarching questions for patient surveys 
Overview:This document describes cognitive testing work undertaken to develop and evaluate overarching questions for use in NHS patient experience surveys. 
Abstract:National surveys provide a powerful and rigorous means of measuring and understanding the experiences of NHS patients and service users. The surveys currently in place typically look at a particular group of patients, for example recent inpatients, and include a range of questions about specific reportable events. Generic questions on overall satisfaction are typically avoided because these are often vaguely conceptualised and hard to interpret, but the downside to this is a limited potential to compare overall experiences across settings.

This report describes a project to test and develop a new overarching measure of patient experience for use in a wider range of settings. The aim was to identify a single question that could be meaningfully asked of people from a range of backgrounds to provide consistent information about experiences of different services.

A large number of cognitive interviews were undertaken with recent patients and service users. Six questions were tested and developed. Based on this work, one question was identified as a good overarching measure of patient experience and recommended for use in future national surveys of patients and service users. 

Author:Chris Graham & Sheena MacCormick 
Date Published:June 2012 
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