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Effect of rurality on patients’ satisfaction with out of hours care provided by a family doctor cooperative’
Glynn, Liam G.; Byrne, Molly; Murphy, Andrew W.
Introduction: Reacting to demand and supply pressures, European healthcare systems are undergoing significant structural changes to the organisation and delivery of out of hours care. Such pressures are of particular concern to rural practice. Although patient satisfaction with out of hours care has been extensively studied, the effect of rurality on satisfaction levels has not, to our knowledge, been previously examined. Objective: To investigate whether rurality has an influence on patient satisfaction with out of hours care provided by a family doctor co-operative. Methods: All patients contacting the service over a designated 24-day period were forwarded a postal questionnaire. Patients' satisfaction was measured using a version of the McKinley questionnaire, and rurality, by subjective patient assessment, distance from treatment centre or previous rota cover. Results: The response rate was 55% (531/966). Overall satisfaction levels were high with 88% of patients rating the service as either good or excellent. 47.8% of respondents perceived themselves as living in a town, 14.6% as living in a village, and 37.6% as living in the countryside. Perceived rurality, distance from treatment centre or previous rota cover did not significantly affect satisfaction levels. Conclusion: Family doctor co-operatives have significantly altered the way out of hours care is delivered. Patients from rural areas are equally satisfied with the provision of out of hours care by co-operatives, as urban patients. Extension of co-operatives to rural areas need not be constrained by concerns regarding decreased patient satisfaction.
Keyword(s): out of hours medical care; patient satisfaction; rurality
Publication Date:
Type: Journal article
Peer-Reviewed: Yes
Language(s): English
Institution: University of Limerick
Citation(s): Rural and Remote Health;4 (3) 320
Publisher(s): James Cook University Australia
First Indexed: 2020-09-04 07:14:35 Last Updated: 2020-09-04 07:14:35