Attitudes towards accreditation among hospital employees in Denmark: a cross-sectional survey

Lars Holger Ehlers*, Morten Berg Jensen, Katherina Beltoft Simonsen, Gitte Sand Rasmussen, Jeffrey Braithwaite

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To evaluate attitudes towards accreditation and the Danish Quality Model (DDKM) among hospital employees in Denmark. Negative attitudes led the Danish Government to abolish accreditation in 2015. Design: A cross-sectional survey was carried out via web-based questionnaire. Setting: All hospital managers, quality improvement staff (quality managers and employees), and hospital surveyors in Denmark; and clinicians (doctors and nurses) within nine selected specialties. Participants: Overall response rate was 29% with 5055 of 17 646 valid responses included in the data analysis. The response rate was 82% (5055/6188) among respondents who clicked on the link in the mail containing the questionnaire. Methods: A short questionnaire was designed using a 7-point Likert scale ranging from 1 'strongly disagree' to 7 'strongly agree'. To compare mean values between respondent groups, regression analysis using dummy coding of respondent groups and calculation of standardized mean difference effect sizes were performed. Results: Overall attitudes were supportive, with physicians more skeptical. There were different patterns of attitudes in the five Danish regions and between medical professions. A small group of physicians was extremely negative. Conclusion: Clinical attitudes are important, and can affect Government decisions. On the basis of our study, future attention should be paid to attitudes towards accreditation (and attitudes towards other means of quality improvement). Attitudes may reflect political agendas and impede the take-up of improvement programs, cause their demise, or reduce their effectiveness.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)693-698
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal for Quality in Health Care
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2017


  • certification/accreditation of hospitals < external quality assessment
  • surveys < general methodology
  • quality culture < quality management


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