From the same journal

From the same journal

User satisfaction surveys and cognitive question testing in the public sector: the case of personal social services in England

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


  • H Qureshi
  • O Rowls


Publication details

JournalInternational Journal of Social Research Methodology
DatePublished - 2004
Issue number4
Number of pages15
Pages (from-to)273-287
Original languageEnglish


Obtaining feedback from service users is a key element of the UK Labour Government's agenda for modernization of the public sector. This reflects a growing international trend in Europe and North America. Recognized difficulties in taking an approach to performance assessment based on the concept of user satisfaction are outlined. Ascertaining the views of people who use personal social services poses particular challenges which result from the levels of impairment and illness in the population, local variations in service provision and the 'care and control' functions of social care. It is argued that cognitive testing of questions, based on research knowledge about user views, provides a way of overcoming some of the pitfalls of traditional satisfaction surveys, while developing questions that are meaningful to respondents. The origins and principles of cognitive testing are described, followed by an example of their application in the development of a questionnaire for home care users. Strengths and limitations of the approach are identified.

    Research areas

  • research methodologies

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