How do patients with a Turkish background evaluate their medical care in Germany? An observational study in primary care

Patient Prefer Adherence. 2015 Nov 3:9:1573-9. doi: 10.2147/PPA.S92485. eCollection 2015.


Background: Patients' evaluation of medical care is an essential dimension of quality of care and an important aspect of the feedback cycle for health care providers. The aim of this study was to document how patients with a Turkish background evaluate primary care in Germany and determine which aspects of care are associated with language abilities.

Methods: The study was based on an observational design. Patients with a Turkish background from German primary care practices completed the EUROPEP (European Project on Patient Evaluation of General Practice Care) questionnaire consisting of 23 items. Seventeen primary care practices were involved with either German (n=8) or Turkish (n=9) general practitioners (GPs).

Results: A convenience sample of 472 patients with a Turkish background from 17 practices participated in the study (response rate 39.9%). Practices with a German GP had a lower response rate (19.6%) than those with a Turkish GP (57.5%). Items evaluated the highest were "keeping data confidential" (73.4%) and "quick services for urgent health problems" (69.9%). Subgroup analysis showed lower evaluation scores from patients with good or excellent German language abilities. Patients who consulted a Turkish GP had higher evaluation scores.

Conclusion: The evaluation from patients with a Turkish background living in Germany with either Turkish or German GPs showed lower scores than patients in other studies in Europe using EUROPEP. However, our results had higher evaluation scores than those of Turkish patients evaluating GPs in Turkey. Therefore, different explanation models for these findings should be explored in future studies.

Keywords: migrant health; patient evaluations; patient satisfaction; primary health care; quality of care.