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The missing evidence: a systematic review of patientsí experiences of adverse events in health care


Harrison, R and Walton, M and Manias, E and Smith-Merry, J and Kelly, P and Iedema, R and Robinson, L, The missing evidence: a systematic review of patients' experiences of adverse events in health care, International Journal for Quality in Health Care, 27, (6) pp. 424-442. ISSN 1353-4505 (2015) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2015 The Authors

DOI: doi:10.1093/intqhc/mzv075


Purpose: Preventable patient harm due to adverse events (AEs) is a significant health problem today facing contemporary health care. Knowledge of patientsí experiences of AEs is critical to improving health care safety and quality. A systematic review of studies of patientsí experiences of AEs was conducted to report their experiences, knowledge gaps and any challenges encountered when capturing patient experience data.

Data sources: Key words, synonyms and subject headings were used to search eight electronic databases from January 2000 to February 2015, in addition to hand-searching of reference lists and relevant journals.

Study selection: Titles and abstracts of publications were screened by two reviewers and checked by a third. Full-text articles were screened against the eligibility criteria.

Data extraction: Data on design, methods and key findings were extracted and collated.

Results: Thirty-three publications demonstrated patients identifying a range of problems in their care; most commonly identified were medication errors, communication and coordination of care problems. Patientsí income, education, health burden and marital status influence likelihood of reporting. Patients report distress after an AE, often exacerbated by receiving inadequate information about the cause. Investigating patientsí experiences is hampered by the lack of large representative patient samples, data over sufficient time periods and varying definitions of an AE.

Conclusion: Despite the emergence of policy initiatives to enhance patient engagement, few studies report patientsí experiences of AEs. This information must be routinely captured and utilized to develop effective, patient-centred and system-wide policies to minimize and manage AEs.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:medical error, patient safety, health services research, quality of health care, patient participation, hospital incident reporting
Research Division:Health Sciences
Research Group:Health services and systems
Research Field:Health services and systems not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Public health (excl. specific population health)
Objective Field:Public health (excl. specific population health) not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Iedema, R (Professor Rick Iedema)
ID Code:110082
Year Published:2015
Web of Science® Times Cited:66
Deposited By:Health Sciences
Deposited On:2016-07-12
Last Modified:2017-11-06

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