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Sharon A. Haymes, Lucy Busija, Betty Tellis, Jennifer Hassell, Jill E. Keeffe, Julie A. Taylor, Jenni K. Gratton-Vaughan; Enhancing the Accessibility of an Eye and Ear Hospital: A Concept Mapping Study to Identify Needs and Develop a Framework for Action. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2011;52(14):5541.
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The purpose of this study was to identify and examine the perceived accessibility needs of vision and or hearing impaired patients attending a hospital-based health care service.
A study of 57 key informants (10 vision and or hearing impaired patients and 47 staff) from the Royal Victorian Eye & Ear Hospital was conducted using concept mapping (Concept Systems Inc., NY), a novel methodology that integrates qualitative techniques with multivariate statistical analyses to produce three dimensional data maps and displays. Participants generated statements in response to the focus prompts, "Difficulties that patients have in finding their way around the hospital include…" and, "Ideas that might make it easier for patients to find their way around the hospital include..."
261 statements were collected, synthesized, thematically coded and edited to a final set of 106 statements. Individual statements were then sorted into groups of similar ideas and rated on a 5-level scale for relative importance and feasibility. Ten major categories or clusters of needs and ideas were identified and mapped as follows, in order of importance (mean rating): staff trained in providing assistance to persons with disabilities (4.36); clear hospital signage (4.30); nearby and affordable parking and transport (4.17); multiple methods of patient communication (4.14); instructive appointment letters and patient information (4.09); clear displays of information (4.06); clear and efficient layout and design (4.01); safety and protection from hazards (3.99); provision of personal patient facilities (3.75) and; direct and logical ways to find specific areas (3.65).
Based on extensive key informant input and consensus we have identified accessibility needs and priorities of patients attending an eye and ear hospital, and constructed a comprehensive framework for action. The conceptual framework can be used to inform the development and evaluation of innovations to enhance the accessibility of hospital-based services, particularly for patients with sensory impairment.
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