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Perspectives on quality of care for people who experience disability
  1. Joanna K Fadyl,
  2. Kathryn M McPherson,
  3. Nicola M Kayes
  1. Health and Rehabilitation Research Institute, AUT University, New Zealand
  1. Correspondence to Professor Kathryn M McPherson, Health and Rehabilitation Research Institute, AUT University, Private Bag 92006, Auckland 1142, New Zealand; kathryn.mcpherson{at}


Background and objective Quality of care is considered to be of central importance in healthcare, disability services and rehabilitation. People experiencing disability often access a range of health and social care services; for some, these services are integral parts of daily life. Little research has explored perspectives of disabled people regarding what constitutes good quality care. This qualitative study aimed to explore and synthesise these perspectives to build a better picture of what constitutes good-quality care for disabled people in New Zealand.

Design and participants Qualitative focus groups and interviews were conducted with a range of participants including people with physical, sensory and/or intellectual impairment; informal and formal carers; and health and social care professionals. Data analysis used constant comparison methods as described in Strauss and Corbin (1998) to determine the factors of most importance and how they contributed to quality of care in health and social care services from the perspectives of people who use these services.

Findings Thirty-one participants took part, representing a range of ages and disabilities. Three main themes identified from data analysis were: (1) technical competence of care service and professionals; (2) a ‘human’ approach to service provision; and (3) context-appropriate response to needs.

Conclusions Findings offer a service-user perspective on what makes a difference to quality of care for people experiencing disability. They suggest that to provide context-appropriate care which addresses individual needs, the right mix of technical competence and a ‘human’ approach to care is needed. The mix required for the ‘right’ balance may depend on the type of service.

  • Quality of healthcare
  • qualitative research
  • disability
  • delivery of healthcare
  • quality of care

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  • Funding AUT University funded the research.

  • Competing interests None.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

  • Ethics approval Ethics approval was provided by the New Zealand Health and Disability Regional Ethics committee.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.