Protocol for a mixed-methods realist evaluation of a health service user feedback system in Bangladesh



Responsiveness to service users’ views is a widely recognised objective of health systems. A key component of responsive health systems is effective interaction between users and service providers. Despite a growing literature on patient feedback from high-income settings, less is known about effectiveness of such systems in low-income and middle-income countries.

Methodology and analysis
This paper disseminates the protocol for an 18-month ‘RESPOND’ project that aims to evaluate the system of collecting and responding to user feedback in Bangladesh. This mixed-method study uses a realist evaluation approach to examine user feedback systems at two Upazila health complexes in Comilla District of Bangladesh, and comprises three steps: (1) initial theory development; (2) theory validation; and (3) theory refinement and development of lessons learnt. The project also uses (1) process evaluation to understand causal mechanisms and contexts of implementation; (2) statistical analysis of patient feedback to clarify the nature of issues reported; (3) social science methods to illuminate feedback processes and user and provider experiences; and (4) health policy and systems research to clarify issues
related to integration of feedback systems with quality assurance and human resource management. During data analysis, qualitative and quantitative findings will be integrated throughout to help achieve study objectives. Analysis of qualitative and quantitative data will be done using a convergent mixed-methods model, involving continuous triangulation of multiple data sets to facilitate greater understanding of the context of user feedback systems including the links with relevant policies, practices and programmes.

Ethics and dissemination
Ethics approvals were obtained from the University of Leeds and the Bangladesh Medical Research Council. All data collected for this
study will be anonymised, and identifying characteristics of respondents will not appear in a final manuscript or reports. The study findings will be presented at scientific conferences and published in peer-reviewed journals.

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