Publication: Patient satisfaction in outpatient medical care: the case of Iraq
Background:Healthcare providers are increasingly interested in patient satisfaction as an indicator to assess the quality of health services. This study investigates the level of satisfaction among Iraqi patients attending the outpatient (OP) clinic.Methods:This was a cross-sectional study conducted from October to December 2019 among outpatient attendees in two busiestcenters in Iraq. A convenience sample of 235 (response rate of 88.0%) completed the self-administered short-form patient satisfaction questionnaire (PSQ-18). The independent variables included socio-demographic, economic, and self-perceived health status. Data were analyzed in SPSS, where descriptive analysis (mean ± standard deviation) and univariate (independent sample t-test, ANOVA test) and multivariate linear regression -Enter technique- was done at 0.05 level of significance and 95% confidence interval.Results: The mean age of respondents was 39.3 (±14.8). The sample was mostly women (55.3%), and 37.4% in the age group of 30-49 years. More than half of participants residing in the urban regions (54.5%) from families of monthly household income less than 500,000 Iraq Dinars (USD 400). However, the majority (70.6%) have the first visit to the OP clinic, and 53.6% self-perceived health as good or very good. Results of multiple linear regression showed that patients residents in rural regions (B= 5.4 ,P<0.001), married (B= 4.8,P<0.001), unemployed (B= 4.7,P<0.001) and low educated (B= 1.5,P<0.051) exhibited higher service satisfaction score compared to urban residents, single, employed and high educated participants respectively. However, patients aged fifty years and more (B= -2.1,P<0.001) and those with poor health (B=-2.5,P<0.001) exhibited lower service satisfaction scores compared to young age patients and the healthy participants, respectively.Conclusion:The high demand for the use of health resources in metropolitan cities by the rural population indicates inequality in the distribution of health services and an increase in the rural-to-urban displacement.