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Year : 2007  |  Volume : 14  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 296-301

Patients' perception of quality of emergency care in a Nigerian teaching hospital: The influence of patient-provider interactions.

Department of General Medical Practice, Olabisi Onabanjo University, Sagamu, Ogun State, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
A J Ariba
Department of General Medical Practice, Olabisi Onabanjo University, Sagamu, Ogun State
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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BACKGROUND: Attention is rarely given to patients' opinions regarding the quality of care they received, which is an important feedback to healthcare providers, planners and policy makers. AIM: To assess how patients who survived life-threatening/emergency conditions percieved the quality of care they received. METHOD: This prospective study was carried out among adult patients who had received emergency care at the Accident & Emergency (A & E) unit of Olabisi Onabanjo University Teaching Hospital (OOUTH), Sagamu, between March and December 2004 using a semi-structured questionnaire. RESULTS: There were 1129 respondents, 81 males and 48 females. Their mean age was 35.3 years. 62% were treated for surgical, and 37.2% for medical emergencies. The mean duration of stay at A & E was 2.4 days. Although 91% of the respondents regarded available equipments as very adequate, 38.8% perceived the overall quality of care as sub-optimal. Many of the patients were displeased with their interactions with care providers. They longed for urgent improvement in waiting time, speed of issuing drugs, imterpersonal relationship with health workers and attending to emotional distress of emergency victims. They also wished to have free treatment during emergencies CONCLUSION: Majority of the patients who received care in A & E of this tertiary hospital perceived the quality of care received as satisfactory. However, a substantial proportion regarded the quality of care as sub-optimal. Although most thought equipments were adequate, many of them expressed displeasure with their interactions with care providers. To improve patient's satisfaction with emergency care, greater emphasis needs to be placed on enhancing the interpersonal relationships between health workers and patients than is currently done.

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