Satisfaction with Health Care Services in the Adult Population of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Šeila Cilović-Lagarija, Sanjin Musa, Stela Stojisavljević, Nino Hasanica, Elma Kuduzović, Mirza Palo, Marek Majdan, Martha Scherzer, Katrine Bach Habersaat, Catherine Smallwood, Ardita Tahirukaj, Dorit Nitzan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background and Objectives: Patient satisfaction with health care can influence health care-seeking behavior in relation to both minor or major health problems or influence communication and compliance with medical advice, which is especially important in emergencies such as the COVID-19 pandemic. Thus, it is important to continually monitor patient satisfaction with provided care and their dynamics. The aim of this study was to assess patient satisfaction with health care during the COVID-19 pandemic in the adult population of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (FB&H) and compare it with levels of satisfaction in the same population before the COVID-19 pandemic. Materials and Methods: A representative, population-based survey was implemented in the adult population of the FB&H using the EUROPEP instrument, which measures satisfaction with health care using 23 items. The sample included 740 respondents who were 18 years or older residing in the FB&H and was implemented in December 2020. All data were collected using a system of online panels. The survey questions targeted the nine months from the beginning of the pandemic to the time of data collection, i.e., the period of March to December 2020. Results: The mean composite satisfaction score across all 23 items of the EUROPEP tool was 3.2 points in all age groups; the ceiling effect was 22% for the youngest respondents (18–34 years old), 23% for 35–54 years old, and 26% for the oldest group (55+), showing increasing satisfaction by age. The overall composite score for both females and males was 3.2. The ceiling effect was higher in those with chronic disease (29% vs. 23% in those without chronic disease). The composite mean score for respondents residing in rural vs. urban areas was 3.2 with a ceiling effect of 22% in rural and 24% in urban residents. When comparing mean composite scores surveyed at various points in time in the FB&H, it was found that the score increased from 3.3 to 3.5 between 2011 and 2017 and dropped again to 3.3 in this study. Despite these observations in the overall trends of satisfaction scores, we note that no statistically significant differences were observed between most of the single-item scores in the stratified analysis, pointing to the relative uniformity of satisfaction among the analyzed population subgroups. Conclusions: The rate of satisfaction with health care services in the FB&H was lower during the COVID-19 pandemic compared to 2011 and 2017. Furthermore, while an increasing trend in satisfaction with health care was observed in the FB&H during the years prior to 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic may have contributed to the reversal of this trend. It is important to further monitor the dynamics of patient satisfaction with health care, which could serve as a basis for planning, delivering, and maintaining quality services during the COVID-19 pandemic and other emergencies.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number97
JournalMedicina (Lithuania)
Volume59
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 31 Dec 2022
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • EUROPEP
  • federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • health care
  • satisfaction

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Medicine

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