Mature Adults at the GP: Length of Visit and Patient Satisfaction—Associations with Patient, Doctor, and Facility Characteristics
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionMedicina. 2022, 58 (2), . 10.3390/medicina58020159
Background and objectives: The consultation time for more mature adults is often perceived as longer, increasing with the patient’s age and boosting their satisfaction with the visit. However, factors determining patient satisfaction (PS) or the consultation time (CT) in the population aged 50+ are not clearly identified. A cross-sectional design was used to identify factors specific to the facility (e.g., size, staff turnover), doctor (e.g., seniority, workload), and patient (e.g., self-rated health, impairment of activities) that are related to PS and the CT. Our secondary focus was on the relation of PS to the CT along with the role of the patient’s age and gender for both. Materials and Methods: Doctors (n = 178) and their 1708 patients (aged 50–97) from 77 primary care facilities participated in the study. The Patient Satisfaction with Visit Scale score and the CT were the outcome measures. Results: We identified associations with the CT in terms of the facility-related factors (number of GPs, time scheduling); doctors’ workload and health; and patients’ education, time attending GP, and impairments. PS was additionally governed by doctors’ perceived rate of patients aged 65+, as well as the patients’ hospitalization in the prior year, frequency of visits, and impairments. For adults aged 50+ the CT was unrelated to PS and both remained independent of patients’ age. Conclusions: Specific factors in terms of the facility, GP, and patient were identified as related to PS and the CT for participating adults in primary care. During visits of patients aged 50+ at their GP, there is scope for both time-savings and patient satisfaction improvements, when paying attention, e.g., to the time scheduled per visit, the number of doctors employed, and the patients’ impairments.