VOICE–Validating Outcomes by Including Consumer Experience: A Study Protocol to Develop a Patient Reported Experience Measure for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples Accessing Primary Health Care

Publication Name

International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health


Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ (hereafter respectfully referred to as Indigenous Australians) experiences of health care are shaped by historical, social and cultural factors, with cultural security critical to effective care provision and engagement between services and community. Positive patient experiences are associated with better health outcomes. Consequently, it is an accreditation requirement that primary health care (PHC) services must formally gather and respond to patient feedback. However, currently available patient feedback tools were not developed with Indigenous Australians, and do not reflect their values and world views. Existing tools do not capture important experiences of care of Indigenous Australians in PHC settings, nor return information that assists services to improve care. Consistent with the principles of Indigenous Data Sovereignty, we will co-design and validate an Indigenous-specific Patient Reported Experience Measure (PREM) that produces data by and for community, suitable for use in quality improvement in comprehensive PHC services. This paper presents the protocol of the study, outlining the rationale, methodologies and associated activities that are being applied in developing the PREM. Briefly, guided by an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Group, our team of Indigenous and non-Indigenous researchers, service providers and policy makers will use a combination of Indigenous methodologies, participatory, and traditional western techniques for scale development. We will engage PHC service staff and communities in eight selected sites across remote, regional, and metropolitan communities in Australia for iterative cycles of data collection and feedback throughout the research process. Yarning Circles with community members will identify core concepts to develop an “Experience of Care Framework”, which will be used to develop items for the PREM. Staff members will be interviewed regarding desirable characteristics and feasibility considerations for the PREM. The PREM will undergo cognitive and psychometric testing.

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This publication may be available as open access





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Funding Sponsor

Department of Health and Aged Care, Australian Government



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