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The problem with using patient complaints for improvement
  1. Marit S de Vos1,2,
  2. Jaap F Hamming1,
  3. Perla J Marang-van de Mheen2
  1. 1 Department of Surgery, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, The Netherlands
  2. 2 Department of Medical Decision Making, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, The Netherlands
  1. Correspondence to Dr Perla J Marang-van de Mheen, Medical Decision Making, Leiden University Medical Centre, 2333 ZA Leiden, The Netherlands; p.j.marang{at}


‘The Problem with…’ series covers controversial topics related to efforts to improve healthcare quality, including widely recommended, but deceptively difficult strategies for improvement and pervasive problems that seem to resist solution.

  • quality improvement
  • patient-centred care
  • patient satisfaction

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  • Contributors All authors contributed to conception and design of this study. MSdV drafted the article, and all other authors (JFH, PJM-vdM) participated in revising it critically. All authors have seen and approved the final draft.

  • Funding This work was supported by a combined unrestricted grant from the Board of Directors of the Leiden University Medical Centre, Vogelgezang Foundation (no. 1519-01), Leiden University Fund (no. 5265/12-11-15) and the Michäel-Van Vloten Surgery Fund. Funders had no role in the study design, data analysis and interpretation, writing of the report, or in the decision to submit the article for publication.

  • Competing interests None declared.

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