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01.12.2014 | Research article | Ausgabe 1/2014 Open Access

BMC Family Practice 1/2014

Decreasing trends in patient satisfaction, accessibility and continuity of care in Finnish primary health care – a 14-year follow-up questionnaire study

Zeitschrift:
BMC Family Practice > Ausgabe 1/2014
Autoren:
Risto Raivio, Juhani Jääskeläinen, Doris Holmberg-Marttila, Kari J Mattila
Wichtige Hinweise

Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (doi:10.​1186/​1471-2296-15-98) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

Competing interests

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interests.

Authors’ contributions

RR, JJ, DH-M and KJM designed the study and participated in the acquisition of data. RR and KJM analysed and interpreted the data. RR, JJ, DH-M and KJM drafted the manuscript, critically revised the article and have read and approved the final manuscript.

Abstract

Background

The aim here was to explore trends in patient satisfaction with primary health care and its accessibility and continuity, and to explore whether through reforms and improvements some of the essential goals had been achieved over a 14-year period of time in Finland.

Methods

Nine questionnaire surveys were conducted over a period of 14 years among patients attending within one week in the 65 health centres in the Tampere University Hospital catchment area. A total of 147,394 responded out of a sample of 333,648 patients. The response rate varied yearly from 53% to 37%.

Results

Patient satisfaction with care in Finnish health centres decreased by nearly 9 percentage units from 1998 to 2011. The fall-off was most marked in the age-group over 64 years. There was a 20 percentage unit’s reduction in ease of access as reported by patients. Respondents also reported that the continuity of care had deteriorated.

Conclusions

Despite major reforms in Finnish health care policy, patients seem to be less satisfied. Our findings challenge both Finnish authorities and GPs to improve the accessibility and continuity of care in primary health services.
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