Patient experiences with outpatient care in Hungary: results of an online population survey

Eur J Health Econ. 2019 Jun;20(Suppl 1):79-90. doi: 10.1007/s10198-019-01064-z. Epub 2019 May 16.


Background: Health systems are undertaking efforts to make health care more patient centered and value based. To achieve this goal, the use of patient-reported experience measures (PREMs) is increasing, especially across OECD countries. However, in Hungary, data on patients' experiences are still lacking. Thus, our aim was twofold: first, to collect data on outpatient experience in Hungary on patient-doctor communication and patient involvement in decision making and compare it with that of other OECD countries; second, to assess associations of outpatient experience with patients' socioeconomic characteristics.

Methods: In early 2019, we conducted a cross-sectional, online, self-administered survey in a national representative sample of Hungary's population (n = 1000). The sample was weighted considering gender, age, highest education level attained, type of settlement, and region of residence. The survey questions were based on a set of recommended questions by the OECD.

Results: Our findings show that the proportion of reported positive experiences is as follows: doctors providing easy-to-understand explanations (93.1%) followed by time spent on the consultation (87.5%), opportunities to raise questions (85.8%), and doctors involving patients in decision making about care and treatment (80.1%). The share of positive experiences falls behind OECD's average regarding patient-doctor communication and patient involvement in decision making, which signals room for improvement in these areas.

Conclusions: Women, younger people, people with a paid job, and patients with consultations with allied health professionals reported significant lesser positive care experiences and, hence, more targeted policies can be initiated based on our findings.

Keywords: Hungary; OECD; Outpatient care; Patient-reported experience measure; Quality of care; Survey.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Ambulatory Care / standards*
  • Communication
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Decision Making, Shared
  • Developed Countries / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hungary
  • Internet
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Participation / statistics & numerical data
  • Patient Reported Outcome Measures*
  • Patient Satisfaction / statistics & numerical data*
  • Physician-Patient Relations*
  • Sex Factors
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Time Factors
  • Young Adult