How do Australian patients rate their general practitioner? A descriptive study using the General Practice Assessment Questionnaire

Med J Aust. 2008 Aug 18;189(4):215-9. doi: 10.5694/j.1326-5377.2008.tb01986.x.


Objective: To report patient responses to the General Practice Assessment Questionnaire (GPAQ) as a measure of satisfaction with health care received from Australian general practitioners.

Design, setting and participants: A clustered cross-sectional study involving general practice patients from 30 randomly selected general practices in Victoria. Between January and December 2005, a screening survey, including a postal version of the GPAQ, was mailed to 17 780 eligible patients.

Main outcome measure: Scores on the six GPAQ items.

Results: We analysed data from 7130 patients who completed the screening survey and fulfilled our eligibility criteria. Levels of patient satisfaction with general practice care were generally high: mean GPAQ scores ranged from 68.6 (95% CI, 66.1-71.0) for satisfaction with access to the practice to 84.0 (95% CI, 82.2-85.4) for satisfaction with communication. Intracluster correlations for the GPAQ items ranged from 0.016 for overall satisfaction with the practice to 0.163 for satisfaction with access to the practice. Compared with national benchmarks in the United Kingdom, the GPs and practices participating in our study were rated higher on all six GPAQ items. Multivariable mixed effects linear regression showed that patients who were older, rated their health more highly, visited their GP more frequently and saw the same GP each time tended to express greater satisfaction with their care.

Conclusion: Generally patients reported high levels of satisfaction with GP care. Greater satisfaction with care was associated with older patients, good health, more frequent contact with the GP, and seeing the one GP consistently.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Family Practice / standards*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Satisfaction*
  • Physician-Patient Relations*
  • Physicians, Family / standards*
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians' / standards*
  • Quality Assurance, Health Care / methods*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires*
  • Victoria