Health Services Research & Development

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2007 HSR&D National Meeting Abstract

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National Meeting 2007

1044 — Longitudinal Study of Patient Satisfaction with Care in Men with HIV Infection

Mkanta WN (University of Florida) , Uphold CR (North Florida/South Georgia Veterans Health System)

Objectives:
Patient satisfaction is viewed as a patient's personal evaluation of health care services and providers. Most studies have focused on a single time-point assessment of satisfaction. We examined changes in patient satisfaction over time and the longitudinal relationships of health-related quality of life (HRQOL) and patients’ demographic and clinical factors with patient satisfaction among men with HIV.

Methods:
The sample included 182 (i.e., 107 VA and 75 non-VA) patients who were interviewed and had their blood specimens analyzed at baseline and 24 months. There were no baseline differences between patients who completed and those who did not complete the study. Satisfaction was measured with three subscales (i.e., satisfaction with access to care, satisfaction with availability of specialist care, and general satisfaction) on the Patient Satisfaction Questionnaire (PSQ). Mixed-effects linear regression was used to determine factors related to satisfaction.

Results:
Most of the individual satisfaction items showed over-time stability and were rated favorably. Over time, patients had increased satisfaction with availability of specialist care (p= .016). Overall, HRQOL was positively related to all three dimensions of satisfaction over time: access to care (p<. 01); availability of specialist care (p=. 005); and general satisfaction (p<. 01). Older age, higher education level, and fewer miles from home to clinic were associated with higher levels of satisfaction with access to care, but there were no significant relationships between patients’ demographic and clinical characteristics with availability of specialist care and general satisfaction. Satisfaction was not related to receiving care at VA or non-VA facilities.

Implications:
Patients’ satisfaction levels with HIV healthcare were favorable and did not change substantially over a two-year period. HRQOL was a strong, positive predictor of all dimensions of patient satisfaction over time, whereas demographic and clinical factors predicted only satisfaction with access to care.

Impacts:
Patients who are satisfied with their care are more likely to achieve favorable outcomes and adherence to treatments. Thus, health professionals need to focus on HRQOL as a link to the improvement in patient satisfaction, an important component of quality of care. VA leadership should promote ongoing satisfaction studies as one of the methods for assessment of quality of care.