This thesis is concerned with the quality of care for the elderly in nursing homes, responding to a critical social and demographic imperative. The aim of this study is to provide a service quality construct for nursing homes to increase client focus and satisfaction. The research is underpinned by the service quality literature. It utilises the SERVQUAL construct to explore the nature of service quality in nursing homes through semi-structured interviews with nursing home residents and resident's families. A service quality scale was constructed comprising six dimensions and 27 scale items capturing service delivery in nursing homes. This scale was purified through a survey of residents and family members (n=263). Through exploratory factor analysis, six importance and four experience factors were identified. Regression analysis was used to identify relationships between the factors, service quality and satisfaction. The results indicate that importance does not predict perceived quality, though experience of responsiveness and hospitality and courtesy and personal approach are indicators of service quality. Furthermore, quality emerges as a predictor of satisfaction. From these outcomes, a service quality construct was developed which comprises of service marketing and service quality dimensions. This thesis contributes to the construction of the concept of service quality in nursing homes, its dimensionality and thus the precursors of satisfaction. These have considerable implications for the management of nursing home services.homes, its dimensionality and thus the precursors of satisfaction. These have considerable implications for the management of nursing home services.
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