The influence of individual characteristics in the reporting of home care service quality by service users

Sima Sandhu, Andrew Bebbington, Ann Netten (2006)

Research, Policy and Planning 24 1 1-12

In recent years, increased emphasis has been placed on consulting, involving and informing service users. A national survey in 2003 indicated that reported levels of satisfaction with services were associated with individual home care service users’ characteristics. The aim of the case study presented here was to investigate further the association between individual service user and need-related characteristics in judgements of service quality, within one local authority. Reported service quality was assessed using a measure based on items in an extended version of the 2003 User Experience Survey (UES). Additional data about service users were sought from commissioning databases and client case records. Multivariate analysis indicated a relationship between service user and need-related characteristics in the reporting of service user satisfaction. Judgements of service satisfaction were not influenced by demographic characteristics alone, but by a complex interaction between individual characteristics, situational factors, dependency characteristics and structure of the care package. This case study suggests possible explanations for individual variation in the reporting of service satisfaction based on the interplay between expectations and experience.