Arch Hellen Med, 29(5), September-October 2012, 614-622
Level of patient-user satisfaction with the state Primary Health Care Centers in Cyprus
E. Constantinou,1 I. Mitropoulos2
OBJECTIVE To investigate the quality of the medical care provided by the Cyprus state health centers (HC), and specifically to estimate the degree of satisfaction of HC patient-users and to identify factors affecting their overall satisfaction, in order to determine actions and policies needed to improve the quality of the services provided.
METHOD A specially designed and validated, structured questionnaire with multiple choice closed questions was used. The questionnaire was completed by HC users, using a closed ballot. A random sample of 438 users of the 15 state HCs of Cyprus was selected, stratified by district and HC. The data were analyzed using methods of deductive and descriptive statistics and multivariate analysis techniques, with the programme Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) v. 17.
RESULTS The satisfaction rate for most parameters investigated in this study was relatively high (70%). A significant difference was observed in average satisfaction between users of urban and rural HC, 84.2% and 66.2%, respectively, and among the various district HCs, with the satisfaction rates being: Limassol 41.0%, Famagusta 71.4%, Larnaca 73.4%, Nicosia 75.9% and Paphos 100%. Of the parameters investigated, a high degree of satisfaction was observed in the issues related to health professionals, such as kindness, knowledge, time spent with the patient, etc.
CONCLUSIONS The HCs in Cyprus are characterized by a high index of user satisfaction, although problems relating mainly to organization and functioning and to a lesser degree to the medical consultation and clinical examination were reported. Patients use the primary services in search of a consistent and personal acquaintance with their doctor, which indicates the need for support and strengthening of the institution of the family doctor.
Key words: Cyprus, Health centres, Patient satisfaction, Primary Health Care, Quality.