Developing self-report disability questions for a voluntary patient registration form for general practice in Australia

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Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health


Objective: This article reports on research undertaken to develop self-report disability questions for a patient registration form that may be implemented in general practices across Australia as part of a voluntary patient registration program. Methods: There were four research components: rapid review of approaches for capturing disability information; expert informant interviews (n=19); stakeholder consultation via virtual focus groups (n=65); and online survey (n=35). Findings from each component informed development of materials for subsequent components in an iterative research process. Results: Three disability questions were developed: two alternative questions for identifying disability, conceptually aligned with the operational definition of disability in Australia's national disability survey; one question to determine the patient's disability group/s. Conclusions: Knowledge and perspectives from a variety of sources informed the development of self-report questions to identify patients with disability. Implementing these questions represents an opportunity to test new ways of capturing disability information suited to mainstream service provision contexts. It will be essential to evaluate the quality of the data produced during the initial period of implementation. Implications for Public Health: The collection of self-report patient disability information within general practice, using standard and conceptually-sound questions, has the potential to support improved provision of health care to patients with disability.

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