Continuity of care is associated with satisfaction with local health care services
BMC Family Practice
Satisfaction is a major element in assessing quality of care. It has decreased in Finland in recent decades as well as continuity of care. We investigated which demographic, health-related, and local health care service factors, especially continuity of care, are associated with the population's satisfaction with local health care services. The data are part of the Health and Social Support (HeSSup) study's follow-up questionnaire in 2012. The study is based on a random Finnish population
... . Satisfaction was studied based on the question "How satisfied are you with your local health care services?" Demographic factors, obesity, self-assessed health status, depressive mood (BDI-12 questionnaire), New York Heart Association class, and chronic diseases were asked in the questionnaire. Questions describing local health care services were also presented. We assessed the association of an assigned and named GP and the respondents' proactivity in contacting the same doctor with satisfaction. We used crosstabulation and binary logistic regression in the analyses. The Health and Social Support study was answered in 2012 by 15,993 participants (45.4%) and majority (61.3%) was satisfied with their local health care services. An assigned and named GP (OR 1.79; 95% CI 1.67-1.92) and the respondent's proactivity in contacting the same doctor (OR 1.23; 95% CI 1.15-1.32) were associated with satisfaction in the adjusted multivariate analysis. BDI score < 19 had the strongest association with satisfaction (OR 1.91; 95% CI 1.65-2.23). Older participants, males, and those in a relationship were more likely to be satisfied. A named GP in primary care proved to have a positive correlation with patient satisfaction. Depression was associated with decreased satisfaction. A named GP indicates continuity of care, and it should be seriously considered when planning treatment for patients with chronic conditions.