A study analysing inconsistent responses from people with multiple sclerosis in a recent national audit

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Colleges, School and Institutes


Purpose. An audit of NHS services for people with multiple sclerosis (PwMS) revealed inconsistency in individuals' responses to different types of questions. The main aim of this subsequent study was to analyse systematically the qualitative data gathered as part of the audit and use the findings to investigate the disparity between the global expressions of satisfaction and the negative, and at times heart wrenching, free text comments made. Method. This study analysed questionnaires completed by 557 PwMS, 336 of which had made free text comments. This qualitative data was analysed using content analysis by grouping content into positive and negative comments and then into more detailed categories and sub-categories. Inter-coder and intra-coder reliabilities were confirmed and the data manipulated to address the aim of the study. Results. The study found that PwMS who gave conflicting reports of satisfaction with services were more likely to give negative comments regarding the provision of service rather than the quality of service. Conclusion. This study has revealed that simple, single questions on satisfaction with services do not offer a valid measure of patient experience. It has shown that there is a place for qualitative research in the area of patient satisfaction.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalDisability and Rehabilation
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2008


  • patient satisfaction, Mulpite sclerosis, content analysis