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Prof. Max Geraedts

Private Universität Witten/Herdecke gGmbH

Institut für Gesundheitssystemforschung

Alfred-Herrhausen-Str. 50

58448 Witten

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Hospital behaviour of the chronically ill

Project leader: Prof. Dr. Max Geraedts, Private Universität Witten/Herdecke gGmbH


For chronically ill persons, hospital stays are repeatedly occurring and intensified phases in the course of treatment. Chronically ill patients are the main hospital users and should be able to codetermine the choice of hospital in an informed manner in the sense of participatory arrangement of care. For patients, their co-decision in the choice of hospital is very important. So far, it remains unclear whether chronically ill patients in Germany make, or are at least able to make, such an active selection decision.


The aim of the investigation is to survey a scientific basis for patient-oriented hospital information in a patient-friendly manner. To this aim, the following research questions are examined: How often are chronically ill patients included in the hospital choice on an everyday basis? How much time do they have before the admission to inform themselves about hospitals? What information sources do they use and what are the important decision criteria for them? Are differences apparent according to sociodemographic factors?


To this aim, a cross-sectional, multi-centre non-controlled observation study is conducted. In several partial samples with consecutive full survey, quantitative primary data will be retrospectively gained through questionnaires and statistically evaluated. In a layered survey, data on 1840 hospital patients from 10 specialist fields which are strongly occupied nationwide (internal medicine, surgery, gynaecology and obstetrics, paediatric medicine, psychiatry, orthopaedic medicine, neurology, urology, ENT, geriatric medicine) will be gathered in 15 hospitals in North Rhine-Westphalia from the different care levels of treatment providers and patients.


We expect to gain results which clarify the hospital selection behaviour and the information need of all patients in a differentiated manner, and in particular of the "chronically ill". From these insights, the form (dialogues, reports), contents (patient-relevant selection criteria) and accessibility (GP, specialist physician, Internet, hospital, health insurers) of information offers can be shaped in a target group-appropriate manner (according to specific fields, age and gender).



Cruppé W de, Geraedts M. Hospital choice in Germany from the patient’s perspective: a cross-sectional study. BMC Health Services Research [Internet]. 2017 [cited 2017 Nov 13];17. doi: 10.1186/s12913-017-2712-3 Available from:


Key words: chronically ill persons, patient information, hospital, selection criteria

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