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Patient expectations and their satisfaction in the context of public hospitals

Authors Berhane A, Enquselassie F

Received 6 April 2016

Accepted for publication 14 June 2016

Published 22 September 2016 Volume 2016:10 Pages 1919—1928


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Johnny Chen

Adugnaw Berhane,1 Fikre Enquselassie2

1College of Health Sciences, Debre Berhan University, Debre Berhan, Ethiopia; 2School of Public Health, Addis Ababa University, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Background: Patient expectations have been recognized as a factor for patient satisfaction in medical consultations. Although various studies explored the relationship between patient expectations and patient satisfaction in developed countries, there is a lack of research evidence in Ethiopia where the meeting of patient expectations could relate to satisfaction.
Objective: To assess the relationship between patients’ expectations and their satisfaction in the consultation of patients at the outpatient department.
Study design: Data were collected regarding preconsultation expectations and postconsultation experiences of adult patients attending nine public hospitals. A systematic random sampling method was used where every fifth patient attending an outpatient department was selected. The patients were interviewed before consultation and after consulta­tion to assess whether their pre-consultation expectations were met and to assess how satisfied they were with the consultation. Cronbach’s alpha statistic was used to assess the reliability of the expectation questionnaires, and paired t-test was used to assess any differences between previsit expectations and postvisit experiences. Logistic regression techniques were used to assess variables considered as independent factors for patient satisfaction.
Results: A total of 776 patients were interviewed, giving a response rate of 92.3%. About 93.7% mentioned a diagnosis for their condition as a reason for their current hospital visits. There is a significant difference between preconsultation expectation and postconsultation expectation. Postconsultation expectation, perceived health status, and perceived control on health were factors identified as increasing patient satisfaction. In addition, the presence of any disappointments or worries, previous experience in health care, and extent of influence on the consultation had a negative influence on satisfaction.
Conclusion: Postconsultation expectation impacts patient satisfaction. Health care service providers should emphasize the actual experience of consultation.

Keywords: patient expectation, patient satisfaction, hospital health care, Ethiopia

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