BackgroundAlthough patient participation is strongly associated with high quality of healthcare, valid means to measure and report a comprehensive notion of patient participation are scarce. The Patient Preferences for Patient Participation (4Ps) is a new healthcare practice and research tool, comprising patients’ preferences as well as experiences. The 4Ps employs 12 items for the patient to conceptualise patient participation. The aim of this paper is to describe how the two perspectives of patient participation, namely preferences and experiences, can be combined to visualise and report preference-based patient participation.MethodsWith four response alternatives in each section, the 4Ps offers sixteen possible combinations of degree of match per item. Theoretical and clinical principles fostered a tentative order of six ranks and three levels of preference-based patient participation. To test the standard, statistical analyses for ordinal data were performed, using data from a randomised controlled trial evaluating an intervention aiming to improve patient participation. Further, structures for visualising the preference-based patient participation of individuals and groups were suggested.ResultsData from the 4Ps demonstrated the individuals’ preference-based patient participation, indicating either a match or a mismatch for each item. Mismatches represented either the experience of participation surpassing the patient’s preferences, or the patient’s preferences for patient participation not being established. At group level, the suggested approach for visualising and reporting the 4Ps demonstrated that the intervention group had a significantly higher proportion of sufficient preference-based patient participation for certain items than the control group. These results had not been identified earlier, when using the preferences and experiences of patient participation as separate measures.ConclusionsWays to easily acquaint stakeholders with patients’ preferences for patient participation are needed, in order for healthcare staff to better use resources to match the basic requirements of individuals and groups. While the 4Ps can guide professionals to patient participation as framed in legislations, concept analyses and by patients, a visualisation of the results is needed to capture preference-based patient participation. The proposed route to representing degree of match in preferences and experiences may also be relevant to other dimensions of quality of healthcare.