[Patient satisfaction with primary health care before and after the introduction of a list patient system]

Olaug S Lian, Tom Wilsgaard
Tidsskrift for Den Norske Lægeforening: Tidsskrift for Praktisk Medicin, Ny Række 2004 March 4, 124 (5): 655-8

BACKGROUND: The main objective was to compare patient satisfaction in general practice before and after the introduction of a list patient system for general practitioners (GPs) in Norway in 2001.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: Postal survey sent to a random sample of inhabitants in Northern and Eastern Norway. A total of 1133 questionnaires from 2000 and 1141 from 2003 were included in the analysis (58% of the sample).

RESULTS: From 2000 to 2003 there was a significant increase in the amount of respondents who answered that they were confident to get help if needed, and fewer reported unsuccessful attempts to contact a GP on the phone. Respondents were increasingly very satisfied with most aspects of the doctor-patient relationship and overall satisfaction also improved. We found a reduced proportion of very satisfied respondents in relation to some accessibility aspects.

INTERPRETATION: The changes may be interpreted as changes in the quality and accessibility of services and as an expression of changes in expectations to and confidence in the system as a whole. If the changes are related to the new list patient system, it seems to be more successful with regard to quality than to accessibility.

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