Development and testing of a new instrument to measure patient satisfaction with health care in inflammatory bowel disease: the CACHE questionnaire.
BACKGROUND The satisfaction perceived by patients with chronic diseases affects clinical outcomes and healthcare costs. Some patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) develop a more severe form requiring biologic therapy. We assessed the quality of care perceived by IBD patients in dedicated centers. METHODS This prospective, cross-sectional, multicenter study enrolled consecutive IBD patients who underwent biologic therapy in the participating centers. The nurses directly involved in the management of these patients explained the rationale of the survey, provided a specific questionnaire (CACHE), and collected data. The CACHE included 31 items structured in 6 domains: staff care, clinician care, center facilities, patient information, accessibility, and patient support. Patients' satisfaction score for each domain ranged from 0 to 100%. RESULTS Sixteen different Italian centers participated and a total of 450 patients were enrolled (283 with Crohn's disease and 167 with ulcerative colitis). The overall score was 82.2±19.6, satisfaction with the clinicians care scoring the highest (87.6±3.2) and the information provided to the patient scoring the lowest (70.7±7.9). More specifically, it emerged that 5.2-19.5% of patients were unsatisfied with: 1) the communication between the IBD medical team and primary care physicians; 2) information received about the disease or patients' associations; and 3) the accessibility of the center. CONCLUSION Although our data revealed an acceptably high rate of global satisfaction among IBD patients receiving biologic therapy, more effort should be made to improve patient information and communication between IBD teams, other specialists and primary care physicians.