An exploratory study of patients’ perceptions of responsiveness of tertiary health-care services in Southeast Nigeria: A hospital-based cross-sectional study
Background: The achievement of universal health coverage in Nigeria requires evaluating the extent the expectation of those who have utilized health-care services are met. The study assessed the level of clients’ perceived responsiveness of tertiary hospitals in the provision of specialist health-care services in Nigeria.
Methods: A hospital-based, cross-sectional study was conducted among adult patients and caregivers of children on admission in three tertiary health facilities in Southeast Nigeria. Data were collected from 137 respondents using a questionnaire that was adapted from the World Health Organization-structured responsiveness questionnaire. The key variables were on (a) respect for persons (dignity, confidentiality, and autonomy of individual) and (b) client orientation (prompt attention, access to social network during care, quality of basic amenities, and choice of provider), and data were analyzed using multivariate methods.
Results: The choice of care provider (80.0%) and autonomy (80.9%) were the lowest perceived responsiveness domains while prompt attention (89.2%) and dignity (87.7%) were rated highest by respondents. Multivariate analysis found significant association between gender and some responsiveness domains such as autonomy (P = 0.024), prompt attention (P = 0.003), and quality of basic amenities (P = 0.015) and between occupation and prompt attention (P = 0.034).
Conclusions: Many critical aspects of specialist services in tertiary hospitals do not respond to clients’ need while some do. It is important that poorly performing domains of services are strengthened, especially with upgrading the quality of basic infrastructure so as to improve the performance of the tertiary hospitals.
Keywords: Inpatient services, responsiveness, Southeast Nigeria, tertiary hospitals