Interior renovation of a general practitioner office leads to a perceptual bias on patient experience for over one year.

Gauthey, Jérôme; Tièche, Raphaël; Streit, Sven (2018). Interior renovation of a general practitioner office leads to a perceptual bias on patient experience for over one year. PLoS ONE, 13(2), e0193221. Public Library of Science 10.1371/journal.pone.0193221

Gauthey PLoSOne 2018.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons: Attribution (CC-BY).

Download (6MB) | Preview


Measuring patient experience is key when assessing quality of care but can be biased: A perceptual bias occurs when renovations of the interior design of a general practitioner (GP) office improves how patients assessed quality of care. The aim was to assess the length of perceptual bias and if it could be reproduced after a second renovation.


A GP office with 2 GPs in Switzerland was renovated twice within 3 years. We assessed patient experience at baseline, 2 months and 14 months after the first and 3 months after the second renovation. Each time, we invited a sample of 180 consecutive patients that anonymously graded patient experience in 4 domains: appearance of the office; qualities of medical assistants and GPs; and general satisfaction. We compared crude mean scores per domain from baseline until follow-up. In a multivariate model, we adjusted for patient's age, gender and for how long patients had been their GP.


At baseline, patients aged 60.9 (17.7) years, 52% females. After the first renovation, we found a regression to the baseline level of patient experience after 14 months except for appearance of the office (p<0.001). After the second renovation, patient experience improved again in appearance of the office (p = 0.008), qualities of the GP (p = 0.008), and general satisfaction (p = 0.014). Qualities of the medical assistant showed a slight improvement (p = 0.068). Results were unchanged in the multivariate model.


Interior renovation of a GP office probably causes a perceptual bias for >1 year that improves how patients rate quality of care. This bias could be reproduced after a second renovation strengthening a possible causal relationship. These findings imply to appropriately time measurement of patient experience to at least one year after interior renovation of GP practices to avoid environmental changes influences the estimates when measuring patient experience.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Medical Education > Institute of General Practice and Primary Care (BIHAM)
04 Faculty of Medicine > Pre-clinic Human Medicine > Institute of Physiology
04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Radiology, Neuroradiology and Nuclear Medicine (DRNN) > Institute of Diagnostic, Interventional and Paediatric Radiology
?? DCD5A442BFA1E17DE0405C82790C4DE2 ??

UniBE Contributor:

Streit, Sven


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health
300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 360 Social problems & social services




Public Library of Science




Doris Kopp Heim

Date Deposited:

13 Mar 2018 13:46

Last Modified:

25 Oct 2019 07:50

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:





Actions (login required)

Edit item Edit item
Provide Feedback