Customer quality and type 2 diabetes from the patients' perspective: a cross-sectional study

J Res Health Sci. 2010 Dec 18;10(2):69-76.


Background: Quality in health care can be seen as having three principal dimensions: service, technical and customer quality. This study aimed to measure Customer Quality in relation to self-management of Type 2 diabetes.

Methods: A cross-sectional survey of 577 Type 2 diabetes people was carried out in Australia. The 13-item Patient Activation Measure was used to evaluate Customer Quality based on self-reported knowledge, skills and confidence in four stages of self-management. All statistical analyses were conducted using SPSS 13.0.

Results: All participants achieved scores at the level of stage 1, but ten percent did not achieve score levels consistent with stage 2 and a further 16% did not reach the actual action stage. Seventy-four percent reported capacity for taking action for self-management and 38% reported the highest Customer Quality score and ability to change the action by changing health and environment. Participants with a higher education attainment, better diabetes control status and those who maintain continuity of care reported a higher Customer Quality score, reflecting higher capacity for self-management.

Conclusion: Specific capacity building programs for health care providers and people with Type 2 diabetes are needed to increase their knowledge and skills; and improve their confidence to self-management, to achieve improved quality of delivered care and better health outcomes.