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Thematic analysis of patient written comments

Patient experience feedback is a powerful driver for service design, delivery and improvement. What patients say or write about their experiences of care often has particular impact for staff and can be more memorable than quantitative data.

Supplementing standard patient experience surveys with additional written patient feedback and thematic analysis will help you maximise the benefit of gathering patient perspectives on care.

It is worth spending time reviewing and analysing the written comments that patients and carers make when completing surveys. Standard survey ‘open questions’ requiring a written response tend to ask patients “what works well” or “what can be improved” and can generate several hundred written responses per survey. This is a rich seam of information which can enhance the interpretation of the data generated by the quantitative analysis of the main survey questions.

What we can provide:

  • A coding schema is developed based upon written comments made across a sample of surveys from different organisations – this captures the overall themes reflected in what patients are writing about
  • We ‘read to understand’ each written comment captured in your survey
  • Each comment is coded by a trained coder using the coding schema
  • The coded data is then analysed and emerging themes are captured and reported to you in a ‘Board ready’ format
  • Sample comments are included in the report, to illustrate the analysis
  • A full list of comments received is also provided as a separate appendix to the main report for further reference

What are the benefits?:

  • We save you time – let us do the work of reviewing and analysing your patient comments and writing a report which you can take straight to your Board or Patient Experience Committee
  • This detailed qualitative analysis helps you better understand patients’ experiences of care by ‘bringing to life’ the quantitative analysis provided in your standard survey report
  • The analysis enables comparison with individual question scores and supports prioritisation of areas for improvement
  • The analysis is ready to use in workshops or other quality improvement initiatives you are planning, to stimulate discussion about what matters to your patients

If you would like us to provide this service, please contact Steve Bruster: stephen.bruster@patientperspective.org

To download the information leaflet about this service click here.

To see a sample thematic analysis of patient written comments report click on the button:Sample Report