Background: A key component of the quality of health care is patient satisfaction, particularly in regard to Primary Care Physician (PCP), which represents the first contact with health care services. Patient satisfaction is associated with ethnic, regional and socio-demographic differences, due to differences in service quality, patient-doctor communication, and the patient's perceptions. The aim of this study was to evaluate patients' satisfaction related to primary care physicians' (PCP) performance and to explore potential differences by ethnicity in a multicultural population.
Methods: A national cross-sectional telephone survey was conducted, among a random sample of the Israeli population aged ≥25 years. Satisfaction level from performance of PCP was assessed using a validated questionnaire (30 items; 6 different domains).
Results: The final sample included (n = 827 Jews; n = 605 Arabs, mean age 54.7(±14.9). In the adjusted logistic regression models, Arabs reported lower general satisfaction related to PCPs' performance as compared to Jews (adjusted odds ratio (AOR), 0.63; (95% CI: 0.40-0.98). Arabs reported lower satisfaction related to PCPs' performance across the following domains: communication skills (AOR, 0.42; 95% CI, 0.22-0.82); interpersonal manners (AOR, 0.37; 95% CI, 0.24-0.58); and time spent with the patients (AOR, 0.60; 95% CI, 0.43-0.85).
Conclusions: Jews and Arabs were very satisfied with PCPs' performance. However, there are ethnic differences in the extent of satisfaction level related to the performance of PCP. Satisfaction from PCPs' performance may be achieved by improving the communication skills of the PCP, encouraging interpersonal interaction between the PCP and the patient, and devoting more time to the patient during the visits.
Keywords: Ethnic differences; Evaluation; Patient satisfaction; Primary care physicians’ performance.