Publicatie datum

Patient evaluations of primary care.

Schäfer, W.L.A., Boerma, W.G.W., Schellevis, F.G., Groenewegen, P.P. Patient evaluations of primary care. European Journal of Public Health: 2012, 22(suppl. 2), p. 48-49. Abstract. 5th European Public Health Conference 'All inclusive public health'. 7-10 November 2012, St. Julians (Malta).
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Background: So far, studies about people’s appreciation of primary care services has shown that patient satisfaction seems to be lower in health care systems with regulated access to specialist services by gate keeping. Nevertheless, international comparative research about patients’ expectations and experiences with health care is scarce. Methods: With the QUALICOPC study information on the experiences of about 7000 patients in 34 countries was collected. Patients were surveyed about topics such as perceived access, continuity of care and perceived quality. Moreover, about 7000 patients were asked about what the find important in primary care. Data at the level of the primary care practice were collected through GP surveys. Furthermore, the PHAMEU (Primary Health Care Activity Monitor) study provided data on how primary care is organised in these countries. Data were statistically analysed by means of 3 level multilevel models. Results: A general description will be provided of how PC services are evaluated by the patients in different countries. Evaluation will focus on several aspects as perceived by patients: continuity of care, coordination, communication, patient centeredness, accessibility and general quality aspects. Furthermore, it will be explained how variation is found to be related to characteristics of individual patients, GP practice features and how primary care is organised in a country. Due to the strong influence of GPs on aspects such as continuity of care and patient centeredness (which are valued most important by patients), the main part of the variation in patient evaluations of PC services is expected to be related to the level of the GP practice. Patient evaluations of PC services with regard to availability/ accessibility are mainly related to primary care organisation in a country. Conclusions: Much variation is expected in patient evaluation of primary care services. Variation is hypothesised to relate to patients’ personal preferences, local practice conditions and how the health care system has been organised in a country. Insight into factors related to patient’s evaluations can help tailoring health systems and delivery of it’s services to a more demand driven approach. (aut. ref.)