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The online version of this article (https://doi.org/10.1186/s12913-018-3153-3) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
A multitude of different rehabilitation interventions and other specific health care services are offered for individuals with disorders of consciousness in long-term care settings. To investigate the association of those services and patient-relevant outcomes, a specific instrument to document the utilization of those services is needed. The purpose of this study was to develop such a questionnaire administered to caregivers in epidemiological studies or patient registries in Germany.
The development process of the RECAPDOC questionnaire was carried out in three steps. Step 1 consisted of a systematic literature review and an online-based expert survey to define the general content. Step 2 was an expert interview to evaluate the preliminary content of the questionnaire. Step 3 was a pretest including cognitive interviews with caregivers. After each step, the results were combined into a new version of the questionnaire.
The first version of the questionnaire included items on utilization of medical care, medical aids, nursing and therapeutic care. The results of the expert interview led to the integration of five new items and the modification of six other items. The pretest led to some minor modifications of the questionnaire since it was rated as feasible and acceptable. The final questionnaire consisted of 29 items covering the domains “living situation”, “social insurance status”, “utilisation of home health care”, “domestic services”, “outpatient health care”, “specific diagnostic measures”, “adaptive technologies”, “medical aids” and “utilization of therapies”. Also the experience of family support and multidisciplinary collaboration of health professionals is covered.
The developed questionnaire is a first step to make the situation of patients with disorders of consciousness in the long-term care setting accessible for evaluation in epidemiological studies and in the context of patient registries. However, further reliability and validity studies are needed.