ObjectivePatient evaluation of family practice care is the most direct assessment of quality of healthcare services provided. This study aimed to evaluate family practice care and to assess patient views on the attributes of a good family physician. MethodsA multicentre cross-sectional study was conducted at 18 family practice clinics of Aga Khan Hospital, Karachi, Pakistan. A total of 600 adult patients (aged over 18 years and visiting the clinic for more than a year) were approached consecutively to take part in this study. A pre-tested structured questionnaire including the EUROPEP was used by trained medical graduates to collect patient information. Data were analysed using SPSS v. 19; the internal consistency and reliability of the EUROPEP were tested. Means and proportions were reported for individual items of the questionnaire and a P-value of 0.05 wasconsidered statistically significant. ResultsOf 600 patients, 502 (83.67%) agreed to participate and were interviewed. About one-third (72.3%) were females and 38% were within the age group 35–50 years. The overall mean scale score on EUROPEP was 82.8 (_ 18.0), the score was higher for females at 83.7 (_ 17.4) points. The three statements that were most highly rated for assessing family practice care were listening to the patient (mean = 4.54, SD = 0.92), thoroughness (mean score = 4.46, SD= 0.04) and proper physical examination (mean score = 4.44, SD = 1.07). The poorly rated statements were waiting time (excellent 9.8% vs poor 45.6%) and physician not accessible on telephone (36.5% excellent vs 35.5% poor). ConclusionThe results of this study identified some areas of improvement in family practice, such as accessibility of family practice on telephone and reduction in waiting times. Strategies should be devised regarding these issues at continuous medical education platform so that these attributes can be adapted to improve the overall quality of care.
Ali Khan Khuwaja, Niloufer Sultan Ali, Samreen Kausar, Kashmira Nanji