View full article | A Cross-sectional study of Patient Satisfaction and Patient Retention in a Canadian naturopathic teaching clinic

Farzaneh Osati, MSc, PhD, ND

Boucher Institute of Naturopathic Medicine, Department of Research

200-435 Columbia Street
New Westminster, BC V3L 5N8 Canada
Phone: 604-777-9981 Fax: 604-777-9982

Email: fosati@binm.org

Brenda Leung, ND, MSc, (Corresponding Author)

Boucher Institute of Naturopathic Medicine, Department of Research
200-435 Columbia Street
New Westminster, BC V3L 5N8 Canada
Phone: 604-777-9981 Fax: 604-777-9982
Email: bleung@binm.org

Patricia Wolfe, ND

Boucher Institute of Naturopathic Medicine

200 – 435 Columbia Street,

New Westminster, B.C. V3L 5N8

Phone: 604-777-9981 ext.235| Fax: 604-777-9982

Email: pwolfe@binm.org

Sarah Beasleigh, ND

Boucher Institute of Naturopathic Medicine
200 – 435 Columbia Street,
New Westminster, B.C. V3L 5N8
Phone: 604-777-9981 ext.242 Fax: 604-777-9982
Email: sbeasleigh@binm.org

Karrin Fairman-Young, ND

Boucher Institute of Naturopathic Medicine

Phone: 604-777-9981 Ext. 241 Fax: 604-540-2879

Email: kfairmanyoung@binm.org

Chris Hergesheimer, BA, MA

Boucher Institute of Naturopathic Medicine, Department of Research
200-435 Columbia Street
New Westminster, BC V3L 5N8 Canada
Phone: 604-777-9981 Fax: 604-777-9982
Email: chergesheimer@binm.org

Number of Tables and Figures:  4

Abstract Word Count: 323

Word Count (without cover page, abstract, tables/figures): 4040

Abstract

Background:  Patient satisfaction has been considered an identifier of the quality of health care services in health settings. The more satisfied patients are with the care they are receiving, the more likely they return for follow up and the higher the retention rate.

Objectives: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the level of patient satisfaction in a teaching naturopathic clinic in Western Canada, and to determine factors affecting patient retention.

Methods: This was a cross-sectional study that assessed patient satisfaction using a modified version of the Patient Satisfaction Questionnaire with one group of patients, while patient retention was evaluated with a second group of patients who had not returned to the clinic in the last 6 months or more, via telephone interview using a standard set of questions.

Results: Of 122 questionnaires distributed, 98 questionnaires were completed and returned, giving a response rate of 80%. Of 36 eligible patients who agreed to be interviewed, 31 completed the interview, a response rate of 86%.  Patient satisfaction was high (>92%), mainly attributed to interpersonal manner (88%), communication with care provider (88%), and the technical quality of practitioners (80%). Cost of supplements (71%) and the technical quality of front desk staff (75%) were among the factors that received lower satisfaction ratings. While socio-demographic factors were not associated with patient satisfaction rate, there was a significant correlation (P<0.05) between patient satisfaction and health care quality. The results of the evaluation on patient retention found that ineffective treatments, distance, resolution of their health concern(s), lack of consistency in seeing the same clinician, and lack of extended health benefits were reasons patients cited for not returning to the clinic.

Conclusion: While our findings show a high level of patient satisfaction with the overall care received at the naturopathic teaching clinic, some aspects of the clinic services such as supplement cost, front desk staff training, and quality of treatment plans were associated with lower patient satisfaction and retention.

 

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