Social capital, the miniaturization of community and assessment of patient satisfaction in primary healthcare: a population-based study

Martin Lindström, Elin Axén
Scandinavian Journal of Public Health 2004, 32 (4): 243-9

AIMS: A study was undertaken to assess the impact of social participation, trust and the miniaturization of community, i.e. high social participation/low trust, on two measures of patient dissatisfaction in primary healthcare.

METHODS: The Scania 2000 public-health survey is a cross-sectional, postal questionnaire study. A total of 3,456 persons aged 18-80 years who had a regular doctor within the primary healthcare system were included. A logistic regression model was used to investigate the association between the social capital variables and dissatisfaction. Multivariate analysis analysed the importance of confounders on the differences in lack of general openness and lack of information concerning treatment in accordance with social capital variables.

RESULTS: Lack of openness is positively associated with low trust, the miniaturization of community and low social capital, while lack of information is not significantly associated with the miniaturization of community, but to a lesser extent with low trust and low social capital.

CONCLUSIONS: Low levels of trust and the miniaturization of community may enhance non-specific patient dissatisfaction such as experience of lack of openness by the patient. In contrast, the miniaturization of community was not significantly associated with the more specific "lack of information". The results have implications for the evaluation of patient dissatisfaction.

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