Patients’ perspectives on determinants avoidable hospitalizations: development and validation of a questionnaire

João Sarmento, Margarida Siopa, Rodrigo Feteira-Santos, Sílvia Lopes, Sónia Dias, António Sousa Guerreiro, António Panarra, Paula Nascimento, Afonso Rodrigues, Ana Catarina Rodrigues, João Victor Rocha, Rui Santana

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Ambulatory care sensitive conditions (ACSC) can be avoided through effective care in the ambulatory setting. Patients are the most qualified individuals to express the social and individual contexts of their own experience. Thus, understanding why potentially preventable hospitalizations occur is important to develop patient-centred policies or interventions that may reduce them. This study aims to develop and validate a questionnaire to capture the patients’ perspective on the causes of the hospitalizations for ACSC. The development of a new questionnaire involved four phases: a literature review, face validity, pre-test, and validation. We conducted a three-step face validity verification to confirm the relevance of the identified determinants and to collect determinants not previously identified by interviewing healthcare providers, representatives of patients’ associations, and patients. Determinants were identified through the literature review predominantly in the “Healthcare Access”, “Disease self-management”, and “Social Support” domains. The validated resulting questionnaire comprises 25 questions, distributed by two dimensions (individual/contextual) covering seven domains and 20 determinants of ACSC hospitalization. Currently, there are no validated instruments as comprehensive and easy to use as the one described in this paper. This questionnaire should provide a base for further language/context validations.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3138
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2022


  • Ambulatory care sensitive conditions
  • Determinants
  • Patients’ perspective


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