Obtaining patients' views about their experiences of care should be an integral part of clinical audit. The importance of listening to patients as an aspect of quality can be attributed, in part, to the growth of consumerism in health care, and this in turn has led to the widespread use of satisfaction surveys to obtain patients' views. This paper raises some doubts about current methods for assessing patient satisfaction, and recommends the use of qualitative methods to capture patients' voices in audit.
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