Background There are no prehospital ambulance Patient Reported Experience Measures (A-PREMs) routinely used to support service comparisons and improvement. We developed an A-PREM, generating items through secondary analysis of ambulance patient interview data, and refining the instrument using expert assessment and cognitive interviews of service users. We aimed to pilot the A-PREM (48 experience and 12 attribute items) investigating user acceptability, reliability and construct validity.
Methods Ambulance users attended by a UK regional ambulance service within the previous six months, excluding those suffering cardiac arrest, were sent a self-administered A-PREM. Returned questionnaires were entered into Microsoft Excel and imported into SPSS v22 for analysis. Experience items were recoded to range from 0 (don’t know/can’t remember) to 3 (best recorded experience). Descriptive analysis for item frequencies and missing values, reliability analyses for potential scales and tests of correlation and association were conducted.
Results In all, 111 A-PREMs (22.2%) were returned. Missing data were highest for call-taking items. There was a significant association with a shorter wait for first response for four items measuring overall experience of call-taking (χ, p=0.05), ambulance staff (p<0.001), ambulance overall (p=0.001) and A and E (p=0.023). Four separate experience scales encompassing call taking (AmbCallScore, α=0.91), care at scene (AmbCareScore, α=0.90), care on leaving the patient (AmbLeaveScore, α=0.69), and care on transport (AmbTranScore α=0.71), showed satisfactory to high internal consistencies and distributions indicating generally positive experiences. AmbCallScore, AmbCareScore and AmbLeaveScore showed significantly higher scores (ANOVA) with shorter wait to first response. There were no significant differences for overall measures or scales by sex or age of participant, whether they were transported to hospital or not and whether it was their first experience of the ambulance service.
Conclusion Our findings show that the A-PREM should be tested more widely for evidence of reliability, validity and sensitivity to different care and settings.
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