Identifying patient and practice characteristics associated with patient-reported experiences of safety problems and harm: a cross-sectional study using a multilevel modelling approach
Ignacio Ricci-Cabello, David Reeves, Brian G Bell, Jose M Valderas
Objective: To identify patient and family practice characteristics associated with patient-reported experiences of safety problems and harm. Design: Cross-sectional study combining data from the individual postal administration of the validated Patient Reported Experiences and Outcomes of Safety in Primary Care (PREOS-PC) questionnaire to a random sample of patients in family practices (response rate=18.4%) and practice-level data for those practices obtained from NHS Digital. We built linear multilevel multivariate regression models to model the association between patient-level (clinical and sociodemographic) and practice-level (size and case-mix, human resources, indicators of quality and safety of care, and practice safety activation) characteristics, and outcome measures. Setting: practices distributed across five regions in the North, Centre and South of England. Participants: 1190 patients registered in 45 practices purposefully sampled (maximal variation in practice size and levels of deprivation). Main outcome measures: Self-reported safety problems, harm and overall perception of safety. Results: Higher self-reported levels of safety problems were associated with younger age of patients (beta coefficient 0.15) and lower levels of practice safety activation (0.44). Higher self-reported levels of harm were associated with younger age (0.13) and worse self-reported health status (0.23). Lower self-reported healthcare safety was associated with lower levels of practice safety activation (0.40). The fully adjusted models explained 4.5% of the variance in experiences of safety problems, 8.6% of the variance in harm and 4.4% of the variance in perceptions of patient safety. Conclusions: Practices’ safety activation levels and patients’ age and health status are associated with patient-reported safety outcomes in English family practices. The development of interventions aimed at improving patient safety outcomes would benefit from focusing on the identified groups.