STUDY QUESTION: What is the performance of the patient-centredness of endometriosis care in a secondary and a tertiary care setting and how can it be improved?
SUMMARY ANSWER: Overall, patient-centredness was comparable in the two endometriosis care centres, but differed regarding 'physical comfort' and 'continuity and transition'; both centres can learn how to improve several of their targets from the other's strengths.
WHAT IS KNOWN ALREADY: The ENDOCARE questionnaire (ECQ) is a validated questionnaire for assessing the important quality dimension 'patient-centredness'. Patient-centredness is associated with quality of life, although this should be explored further by larger-scale studies.
STUDY DESIGN SIZE DURATION: A cross-sectional survey, relying on the ECQ, was performed (during 2015 and 2016) among 407 women with surgically diagnosed endometriosis.
PARTICIPANTS/MATERIALS SETTING METHODS: This study was conducted in a secondary and a tertiary care centre in the Netherlands. A total of 209 Dutch-speaking women who had endometriosis surgery (2013-2014), completed the ECQ after a postal invitation and, if needed, postal reminders. The assessed outcomes were: overall patient-centredness, the patient-centredness for each of its 10 dimensions, and the patient-centred strengths and targets for improvement. Case-mix adjusted patient-centredness scores (PCS) were compared and strengths and targets for improvement were identified with a matrix modelling importance against experience. The need to improve the targets was quantified with quality impact indices.
MAIN RESULTS AND THE ROLE OF CHANCE: No difference was demonstrated between the overall PCS of the secondary and tertiary centres (respectively: 4.8 and 4.5; P = 0.15). No difference was found in PCS per dimension between the two clinics except for the secondary care centre performing better regarding 'physical comfort' (respectively: 4.5 and 3.0; P = 0.01) and 'continuity and transition' (respectively: 6.0 and 4.2; P = 0.01). The two centres had nine targets for improvement in common. The secondary and tertiary centres, respectively, had five and seven additional centre-specific targets for improvement. Cross-centre learning is encouraged as 9 out the 12 additional centre-specific targets were strengths in the other centre. The main improvement targets were being able to contact the centre in case of emergency (both centres), the involvement of a significant other (secondary centre), diagnostic delay (secondary centre), personal follow-up (tertiary centre) and disclosing the level of competence of healthcare providers (tertiary centre).
LIMITATIONS REASON FOR CAUTION: Responders did not differ from non-responders in their stage of endometriosis, educational level, rating of endometriosis care and degree to which their complaints are suppressed. Endometriosis is a chronic condition and patient-centredness might be experienced differently at other points of the endometriosis care trajectory.
WIDER IMPLICATION OF THE FINDINGS: The ECQ is a useful tool to assess patient-centredness in both secondary and tertiary care centres. Further research should focus on how to improve endometriosis care.
STUDY FUNDING/COMPETING INTERESTS: No external funding was used. V.M. and C.B.L. report grants from Guerbet, grants from Merck and grants from Ferring outside the submitted work. All authors declare that they have no competing interests concerning this publication.