The use of comparative standards in consumer evaluation of mental health service attributes

Duane Pennebaker

Research output: ThesisMaster's Thesis

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[Truncated] The study sought to contribute to the theoretical understanding of healthcare consumer satisfaction by testing the relative use of the comparison standards used by consumers in making judgements about important mental health service attributes. It was hypothesised that consumer evaluations of mental health service attributes would be based more on value-based comparative standards rather than comparative standards based on expectations, equity and attribution. The study used a qualitative approach employing focus groups. The University of Western Australia Human Research Ethics Committee approved the study.

Participants were consumers who had used a public mental health service (either inpatient or community) within the previous 12 months and who were able to provide informed consent. Interested consumers were recruited through local newspapers and notices placed in public mental health clinics. After informed consent was obtained, participants were assigned to groups using age as a stratifying variable. The focus group questions and protocols were piloted on two groups and subsequently modified. In all 9 focus groups were conducted with two groups in rural areas. Focus group discussions were audio recorded and transcribed. From content analysis of the transcripts, 246 consumer statements were extracted. These statements were classified by a panel of independent judges into one of the four comparative standards.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Western Australia
Publication statusUnpublished - 2002

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