Perception of patients about communication skills of physicians at Al-Iskan PHC center,Makkah city

Dr. Samah Abed Al-Tweirkey

Joint  Program of  Family Medicine, Makkah. – 2013/2014

Background:

Good patient-physician communication skills are essential for high quality, effective and safe medical practice. Doctor-patient communication assumes a special status in Saudi Arabia where as a result of mixed ethnicity of the manpower in the health service and the expatriate community, there is a vast diversity of languages, health traditions and beliefs.

Objectives:

To estimate the perception among patients attending al-Iskan PHC center about their doctors communications skills and factors affecting it in Makkah Al-Mokarramah city, 2013.

Subjects and Methods:

A cross-sectional analytical study was adopted. It included a representative sample of patients attended al -Iskan PHC center in makkah city, KSA throughout September 2013. Self-administered questionnaire designed by the researcher after revising the literature was utilized for data collection. It included four parts; the first part included socio-demographic characteristics of patients. The second part includes details of patient-physician communication.The third part concerned with patient`s satisfaction with physician`s communication during and after the visit (20 questions with 5-likert responses ranged between strongly agree to strongly disagree). The fourth part included questions about the health status of the participants.

Results:

The study included 327 patients out of 350 patients recruited for the studygiving a response rate of 93.4%. Their age ranged between 13 and 50 (32.3±10.1 years). Males represent 51.1% of them. Overall, 47.1% of the patients were unsatisfied with physician communication. Female patients had higher significant satisfaction with physician communication score compared to male patients (mean rank were 178.69 versus 149.92, p=0.006). Patients who had private houses were less satisfied with physician`s communication compared to those who had rented houses (mean ranks was 151.49 versus 178.50, p=0.037). Patients were more satisfied with communication with non-Saudi compared to Saudi physicians (mean rank 199.82 versus 139.44, p<0.001). Patients with health problem of short duration (one week)  reported higher significant satisfaction score with physician communication compared to those with longer duration of the current health problem (more than one year) (mean rank was 169.56 versus 37.07, p=0.008).

Conclusion:

Almost half of patients attended Al-Iskan PHC center in Makkah city were unsatisfied with physician`s communication. Male patients, those living in private houses, those of longer duration of illness, patients seen by Saudi physicians and those visited consultant physicians were less satisfied with physician communication than others

 

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