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Areas and factors associated with patients’ dissatisfaction with glaucoma care

Authors Foo VH, Tan SE, Chen DZ, Perera SA, Sabayanagam C, Fenwick EK, Wong TT, Lamoureux EL

Received 3 April 2017

Accepted for publication 29 June 2017

Published 13 October 2017 Volume 2017:11 Pages 1849—1857


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Scott Fraser

Valencia Hui Xian Foo,1 Sarah En Mei Tan,2 David Ziyou Chen,3 Shamira A Perera,1,4 Charumathi Sabayanagam,4,5 Eva Katie Fenwick,4,5 Tina T Wong,1,4,5 Ecosse L Lamoureux4–6

1Singapore National Eye Centre, Singapore; 2Tan Tock Seng Hospital, Singapore; 3Department of Ophthalmology, National University of Singapore and National University Health System, Singapore; 4Singapore Eye Research Institute, Singapore National Eye Centre, Singapore; 5Centre for Quantitative Medicine, Duke-NUS Medical School, Singapore; 6Centre for Eye Research Australia, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, VIC, Australia

Objective: The aim of this study was to evaluate patients’ dissatisfaction with overall and specific aspects of a tertiary glaucoma service and to determine their independent factors, including intraocular pressure (IOP) and visual acuity (VA).
Methods: Patients, aged ≥21 years, from a specialist glaucoma service in a tertiary eye hospital in Singapore for at least 6 months, were recruited for this cross-sectional study between March and June 2014. All consenting patients completed a 7-area glaucoma-specific satisfaction questionnaire and one item related to satisfaction with overall glaucoma care. We determined the top three areas of dissatisfaction and overall dissatisfaction with the glaucoma service. We also explored the independent factors associated with overall and specific areas of patients’ dissatisfaction with their glaucoma care, including VA and IOP by using logistic regression models.
Results: Of the 518 patients recruited, 438 (84.6%) patients completed the study. Patients’ dissatisfaction with the overall glaucoma service was 7.5%. The three areas of glaucoma service with the highest dissatisfaction rates were as follows: 1) explanation of test results (24.8%); 2) explanation of glaucoma complications (23.7%); and 3) advice on managing glaucoma (23.5%). Patients who were dissatisfied with the overall service had a worse mean VA compared with satisfied patients (logarithm of the minimum angle of resolution =0.41±0.43 vs 0.27±0.49, p=0.005), whereas mean IOP remained well-controlled in both the groups (13.55±2.46 mmHg vs 14.82±2.86 mmHg, p=0.014). In adjusted models, factors associated with overall dissatisfaction with glaucoma care included a pre-university education and above (odds ratio [OR] =8.06, 95% CI =1.57–41.27) and lower IOP (OR =0.83, 95% CI =0.71–0.98).
Conclusion: Although less than one tenth of glaucoma patients were dissatisfied with the overall glaucoma service, one in four patients were dissatisfied with three specific aspects of care. A lower IOP, ironically, and education level were associated with overall dissatisfaction. Improving patients’ understanding of glaucoma test results, glaucoma complications, and disease management may increase patient satisfaction levels.

Keywords: physician-patient relations, perception, attitude to health, surveys and questionnaires, quality of health care

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