Department of Health Services Research, CAPHRI Care and Public Health Research Institute, Faculty of Health Medicine and Life Sciences, Maastricht University, Maastricht, The Netherlands. Electronic address: [Email]
This article aims to conceptualize experienced quality of post-acute and long-term care for older people as perceived by care recipients. An iterative literature review and consultations with stakeholders led to the development of the INDividually Experienced QUAlity of Long-term care (INDEXQUAL) framework. INDEXQUAL presents the process of an individual care experience consisting of a pre (expectations), during (experiences), and post (assessment) phase. Expectations are formed prior to an experience by personal needs, past experiences, and word-of-mouth. An experience follows, which consists of interactions between the players in the caring relationships. Lastly, this experience is assessed by addressing what happened and how it happened (perceived care services), how this influenced the care recipient's health status (perceived care outcomes), and how this made the care recipient feel (satisfaction). INDEXQUAL can serve as a framework to select or develop methods to assess experienced quality of long-term care. It can provide a framework for quality monitoring, improvement, and transparency.