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Association between Organisational Social Capital and Patient Evaluations of General Practice: A Danish Nation-wide Study

Background: During the recent decades, many general practitioners have joined in larger practices with more staff employed. When more people work together within an organisation, the interpersonal relations may affect delivery of services and thereby become valuable for the organisation. ‘Organisational social capital’ is defined as the ability of the members of an organisation to collaborate when solving the key tasks of the organisation, and reflects the interpersonal relations in terms of trust, justice and cooperation skills. How organisational social capital affects services and quality of care in general practice is yet to be documented.

Aim: To analyse associations between organisational social capital and patient evaluations of general practice.pital affects services and quality of care in general practice is yet to be documented.

Methods: A cross-sectional questionnaire study combining data from two national surveys in general practice in Denmark.The study comprised 136 general practices, 679 healthcare professionals and 17,191 patients. Linear regression was used to explore associations between scores from patients’ evaluations of the quality of general practice care (Danish version of the EUROPEP questionnaire, DanPEP) and organisational social capital measured by the healthcare professionals. The analyses were adjusted for organisational characteristics (organisation form, size of the organisation with regard to the number of healthcare staff and the number of listed patients) and patient characteristics (sex, age, years listed at the present practice, and self-rated health).
Results: The level of organisational social capital was positively associated with patients’ evaluations of general practice. The within general practice intraclass correlations of organisational social capital (ICC=26%) and patient evaluations (ICC=5%) were high.

Conclusion: In general practice, organisational social capital is positively and statistically significant associated with patient evaluations. Consequently, improving the organisational social capital in general practice may increase patient satisfaction.


Thomas B Knudsen, Sanne L Lundstrøm, Maja S Paulsen, Jesper Lykkegaard, Jesper R Davidsen, Peder Ahnfeldt-Mollerup, Janus L Thomsen, Anders Halling, Kasper Edwards, Pia V Larsen and Jens Søndergaard

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