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Comparative Study
, 31 (5), 307-14

[Expectations of Patients: What Aspects of a Health Centre Do They Value? A Qualitative-Quantitative Study]

[Article in Spanish]
Comparative Study

[Expectations of Patients: What Aspects of a Health Centre Do They Value? A Qualitative-Quantitative Study]

[Article in Spanish]
F Palacio Lapuente et al. Aten Primaria.


Objectives: To identify the factors valued by users of health centres; to weigh the relative importance of each factor.

Design: Qualitative stage (4 focus groups) to identify the factors valued. Quantitative stage (questionnaire to 225 people) to weigh their relative importance.

Setting: Primary care.

Participants: Citizens from middle-high and middle-low social classes, urban, rural and over 65, were chosen through key informants for their interest in the health services. They were recruited with the assistance of various residents' associations and town councils.

Method: The factors valued were identified through focus groups and classified in categories. Their relative importance was weighed through a questionnaire and a factorial analysis to identify the main components was run.

Results: 60 factors that could be valued by patients were identified. Eight of these referred to the centre and concrete assets, nine to organisation and acessibility, 18 to relationship with the health professionals, and 25 to the services available. The most highly valued factor was: "The centre has sufficient material available for cures, minor surgery, bandages, etc." The factorial analysis confirmed the categories established. Organisation and accessibility, and relationship with professionals were the most highly valued dimensions.

Conclusions: The combination of qualitative and quantitative methods seems very fitting for this kind of study. Although many of the factors were to be expected, other little-expected ones emerged. In addition, users seem to value certain factors in a different way from how the professionals do.

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