Salud Pública de México
Print version ISSN 0036-3634
BRONFMAN-PERTZOVSKY, Mario Norberto et al. Prenatal care in the primary level of healthcare: provider characteristics which influence users' satisfaction. Salud pública Méx [online]. 2003, vol.45, n.6, pp. 445-454. ISSN 0036-3634. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0036-36342003000600004.
OBJECTIVE: To assess the satisfaction level attained by prenatal care users in primary health services in Mexico, and to compare the level of satisfaction according to characteristics of the provider and the service. MATERIAL AND METHODS: A cross-sectional survey was conducted to analyze data from 217 care provider-user pairs. Interviews were carried out in 95 primary care units in eight Mexican states. The information was collected through a) direct observation of the medical encounter, b) interviews with providers and users, and c) a questionnaire and knowledge examination to providers. Users' satisfaction was analyzed according to providers' clinical ability and the treatment received during the visit. Summary and dispersion measures of the main issues were calculated, as well as bivariate and trends analysis. RESULTS: User satisfaction in prenatal care is associated with the treatment received during the visit and to the waiting time before being attended, but not with the provider's clinical ability, nor with his or her age or gender. The treatment received during the visit was also associated with the user's socioeconomic level, where the poorer users received the worst treatment. CONCLUSIONS: Health services should assess users' satisfaction according with the type of medical encounter, particularly where resources are scarce and where economic disparities are present. In such cases, the provision of healthcare services may intensify inequality, with greater impact on the poorest.
Keywords : quality of health care; treatment received; patient satisfaction; prenatal care; Mexico.