Comparison of patients’ perceived quality of primary care between urban and rural community health centers in Guangdong, China

Aiyun Chen, Shanshan Feng, Liang Zhang, Leiyu Shi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: A series of reforms were implemented to improve the quality of primary care services in China. This study aims to assess patients’ perceived quality of primary healthcare between rural and urban community health centers in Guangdong. Methods: A cross-sectional survey was conducted from July to December 2015 in Guangdong. We surveyed 1010 respondents who visited either community health centers/stations (CHCs/CHSs) in urban areas or township health centers/rural health stations (THCs/RHSs) in rural areas. A validated Chinese version of the Primary Care Assessment Tool-Adult Short Version (PCAT-AS), representing ten primary care domains, was used to collect information on patients’ primary care experiences. A t-test was used for comparison on domain scores and total scores between patients from CHCs/CHSs and THCs/RHSs. An analysis of covariance was employed to compare the adjusted PCAT domain scores and total scores. Multilevel models were used to explore factors associated with PCAT total scores. Results: Overall, patients reported a lower level of experience of community orientation and family centeredness compared to other primary care domains. Patients from THCs/RHSs settings in the rural area reported better primary care experience in four domains, including first contact, accessibility, ongoing care, and community orientation. Higher education background and those with a chronic disease were associated with better primary care experience, after controlling for confounding factors. Patients who preferred primary care institutions when getting sick or used health services more frequently reported better primary care experiences. Conclusion: Continued efforts are needed to strengthen primary care performances, particularly in a community orientation and family centeredness. Primary care delivery in CHCs/CHSs settings should be improved in four domains, including first contact, accessibility, ongoing care, and community orientation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number4898
Pages (from-to)1-16
Number of pages16
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Volume17
Issue number13
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2020

Keywords

  • Community health centers/stations
  • Primary care
  • Quality of care
  • Rural health station
  • Township health center

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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