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Technology and health care for the elderly medical research studies

Focus on strategic priorities that have significant social impact.

CAT 2015-36

Exploring the preferences of frail elderly Canadians for aspects of inpatient care: A best-worst scaling experiment

Approximately 400 participants from across British Columbia from two populations will be recruited and administered a stated preference technique called best-worst scaling. This is used to help understand what matters most to patients, their family members, friends and carers. By having a number of individuals complete the survey, we will be able to understand which aspects of hospital care matter most, and to which patients.

Possible Research Results

Anticipated findingsThrough this project, we anticipate that we will be able to identify aspects of hospital care that are most important to elderly patients, both frail and non-frail.

Impact of findingsThe results of this study will provide evidence on the relative importance of aspects of hospital care. Administrators may use this evidence, along with currently collected data, to inform efforts on which parts of hospital care should be prioritized for improvement as they deemed most important by patients. By surveying elderly frail and non-frail patients, administrators will have evidence of the unique needs for each of these populations. This may enable hospital care to take into account the needs of frail elderly patients and their caregivers, and may lead to changes that improve their hospital experience.

About the Project

In Canada, a new effort is being made to involve patients in their own health care, and to help improve their experiences with care. Part of this effort means asking patients about their experiences in the hospital. Some important types of questions involve asking the patients what was most important to them in the hospital and some good or bad experiences they had there. To ask these types of questions, researchers are using a questionnaire called the Canadian Patient Experience Survey.

The survey covers 48 different aspects about hospital care. Researchers think some aspects will matter a lot to some patients, while others will be less important to other patients. This study will focus on elderly Canadians, and help health care administrators understand which parts of hospital care experiences are most and least important to patients.

For more details on the project rationale, hypothesis, objectives and research plan, click here.

Project Team

Principal Investigators:

Nick Bansback, PhD -- University of British Columbia

Stirling Bryan, PhD -- University of British Columbia


Lena Cuthbertson, BHScOT -- B.C. Ministry of Health

Rick Sawatzky, RN, PhD -- Trinity Western University

Dawn Stacey, MScN, PhD -- University of Ottawa

Knowledge Users and Partners:

Kira Leeb -- Canadian Institute for Health Information

Project Contact: Nick Bansback --

CAT 2015-36

Key words: frail elderly; inpatients; patient preference; patient satisfaction; stated preferences; best worst scaling; discrete choice experiment