Patients’ satisfaction with healthcare: comparing general practice services in a tertiary and primary healthcare settings
Background: Patient satisfaction with healthcare is predictive of their likelihood of continuing use of available healthcare; comply with medical instruction and improvement in overall coverage and effectiveness of care. This research compared the level of patients’ satisfaction with general practice care delivered at physicians-manned General Outpatient clinics at tertiary and primary health centres in Rivers State.
Method: This comparative cross-sectional study was conducted using the Patient Satisfaction Questionnaire (PSQ-18). A total of 1290 regular patients were recruited by systematic random sampling. Non-parametric analyses such as median satisfaction scores, Chi-square, Kruskal-Wallis and Mann-Whitney U test were conducted using SPSS version 20 statistical software. A p-value <0.05 was considered statistically significant
Result: Study showed patients who received care at the comprehensive health Centre were significantly more satisfied in domains such as patient-doctor communication (p<0.001), interpersonal manner (p<0.001), accessibility and convenience (p<0.001), technical quality (p=0.006), financial aspects of care (p<0.001) and general satisfaction (p<0.001) than their counterparts at the tertiary Centre. There was no statistically significant difference with time spent during consultations in both centres (p=0.583). Other predictors of satisfaction were younger age, male gender, married, higher education, and those of the Moslem religious faith.
Conclusion: Patients who sought general practice care from the health Centre were more satisfied that those who did at the tertiary Centre. We recommend increased sensitization on patients’ utilization of primary health care systems as first contact, continuing, comprehensive and efficient personal and non-personal healthcare needs.
Keywords: General practice, Patients’ satisfaction, predictors of satisfaction, Primary health Centre, Tertiary health Centre