Objective: To evaluate the association of characteristics of patients and general practices with patient assessment of quality of care.
Design: Cross-sectional multi-practice study using the general practice assessment survey.
Setting: General practices in Australia.
Participants: Ninety-six general practices and 7505 chronic illness patients aged >or=18 years.
Main outcome measures: Access of care and patient-centredness.
Results: Two factors were identified in factor analysis: 'Access of care' and 'Patient-centredness'. Multilevel regression analysis showed significant associations between patients' assessments and patient and practice characteristics. Patients from smaller practices (one to three general practitioners) reported better access to care compared with larger practices. Patients from urban areas were more satisfied with patient-centredness than those from rural areas. Self-reported health status and age had a positive and home ownership, employment and education, and patients from non-English-speaking countries a negative relationship with both scores. Females were more satisfied with patient-centredness.
Conclusions: Patient assessments of quality of care and patient-centredness were strongly associated with practice and patient characteristics. This has important implications for interpreting assessments of the quality of primary care, and for policy and practice measures designed to improve this.