Measuring Patients' Experience of Rehabilitation Services Across the Care Continuum. Part I: A Systematic Review of the Literature

Published:August 20, 2015DOI:



      To identify empirically tested survey instruments designed to measure patient experience across a rehabilitative care system.

      Data Sources

      A comprehensive search was conducted of the MEDLINE (PubMed), CINAHL (EBSCO), and PsycINFO (APA PsycNET) databases from 2004 to 2014. Further searches were conducted in relevant journals and the reference lists of the final accepted articles.

      Study Selection

      Of 2472 articles identified, 33 were selected for inclusion and analysis. Articles were excluded if they were unrelated to rehabilitative care, were anecdotal or descriptive reports, or had a veterinary, mental health, palliative care, dental, or pediatric focus. Four reviewers performed the screening process. Interrater reliability was confirmed through 2 rounds of title review (30 articles each) and 1 round of abstract review (10 articles), with an average κ score of .69.

      Data Extraction

      Data were extracted related to the instrument, study setting, and patient characteristics, including treated disease, type of rehabilitation (eg, occupational or physical therapy), methodology, sample size, and level of evidence.

      Data Synthesis

      There were 25 discrete measurement instruments identified in the 33 articles evaluated. Seven of the instruments originated outside of the rehabilitative care sector, and only 1 measured service experience across the care continuum.


      As providers move to integrate rehabilitative care across the continuum from hospital to home, patients experience a system of care. Research is required to develop psychometrically tested instruments that measure patients' experience across a rehabilitative system.


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