Development of the physical therapy outpatient satisfaction survey (PTOPS).
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: The purposes of this 3-phase study were (1) to identify the underlying components of outpatient satisfaction in physical therapy and (2) to develop a test that would yield reliable and valid measurements of these components. SUBJECTS: Three samples, consisting of 177, 257, and 173 outpatients from 21 facilities, were used in phases 1, 2, and 3, respectively. METHODS AND RESULTS: In phase 1, principal component analyses (PCAs), reliability checks, and correlations with social desirability scales were used to reduce a pool of 98 items to 32 items. These analyses identified a 5-component model of outpatient satisfaction in physical therapy. The phase 2 PCA, with a revised pool of 48 items, indicated that 4 components rather than 5 components represented the best model and resulted in the 34-item Physical Therapy Outpatient Satisfaction Survey (PTOPS). Factor analyses conducted with phase 2 and phase 3 data supported this conclusion and provided evidence for the internal validity of the PTOPS scores. The 4-component scales were labeled "Enhancers," "Detractors," "Location," and "Cost." Responses from subsamples of phase 3 subjects provided evidence for validity of scores in that the PTOPS components of "Enhancers," "Detractors," and "Cost" appeared to differentiate overtly satisfied patients from overtly dissatisfied patients. "Location" and "Enhancer" scores discriminated subjects with excellent attendance at scheduled physical therapy sessions from those with poor attendance. CONCLUSION AND DISCUSSION: In this study, we identified components of outpatient satisfaction in physical therapy and used them to develop a test that would yield valid and reliable measurements of these components. (+info)
Rural background and clinical rural rotations during medical training: effect on practice location.
BACKGROUND: Providing health care services in rural communities in Canada remains a challenge. What affects a family medicine resident's decision concerning practice location? Does the resident's background or exposure to rural practice during clinical rotations affect that decision? METHODS: Cross-sectional mail survey of 159 physicians who graduated from the Family Medicine Program at Queen's University, Kingston, Ont., between 1977 and 1991. The outcome variables of interest were the size of community in which the graduate chose to practise on completion of training (rural [population less than 10,000] v. nonrural [population 10,000 or more]) and the size of community of practice when the survey was conducted (1993). The predictor or independent variables were age, sex, number of years in practice, exposure to rural practice during undergraduate and residency training, and size of hometown. RESULTS: Physicians who were raised in rural communities were 2.3 times more likely than those from nonrural communities to choose to practise in a rural community immediately after graduation (95% confidence interval 1.43-3.69, p = 0.001). They were also 2.5 times more likely to still be in rural practice at the time of the survey (95% confidence interval 1.53-4.01, p = 0.001). There was no association between exposure to rural practice during undergraduate or residency training and choosing to practise in a rural community. INTERPRETATION: Physicians who have roots in rural Canada are more likely to practise in rural Canada than those without such a background. (+info)
Sources and implications of dissatisfaction among new GPs in the inner-city.
OBJECTIVES: We aimed to examine the factors that were most stressful for new principals in inner-city general practice. In addition, given the concerns about retention of new principals, to ascertain whether high perceived stress translated into regret that they had joined their practice and factors that might protect from regret. METHODS: A questionnaire survey, within an inner-city Health Authority. The subjects were 101 GPs appointed as principals between 1992 and 1995. RESULTS: Eighty-three out of 101 GPs replied. The greatest sources of stress were, in order, patient expectations, fear of complaint, out-of-hours stress and fear of violence. Although these stresses were scored highly, 61% expressed no regret at having joined their practice with just 4% reporting considerable regret. Stress within the partnership and stress arising from patient expectations accounted for 23% of the variation in regret. Holders of the MRCGP were significantly protected against regret; there was no evidence that other factors such as medical positions outside the practice, membership of a young principals support group, fundholding status or training practices offered significant protection against regret. CONCLUSION: Despite reported difficulties in recruiting new young principals to the inner-city-and despite their reported high levels of stress-few have regrets about their decision to join their practice. For those who did regret joining their practice, the three principal associations were partnership stress, patient expectations and not possessing the MRCGP. Each of these factors may be amenable to intervention by policies geared to improve GP retention. (+info)
Why primary care physicians join HMOs.
OBJECTIVE: To determine the reasons why primary care physicians affiliate with health maintenance organizations (HMOs) and assess how these reasons vary with personal and practice characteristics. STUDY DESIGN: A 1996 national telephone/mail survey of primary care physicians who were affiliated with at least 1 HMO plan for more than 9 months. METHODS: Survey responses were assessed according to geographic region, age, income, level of involvement in managed care, and HMO penetration rate. The sample consisted of 210 primary care physicians who played a role in the decision to affiliate. RESULTS: The overwhelming reason primary care physicians affiliated with an HMO was to retain patients. Eighty-three percent reported this as one of the reasons for affiliating and 59% reported it as the primary reason. Physicians with the greatest portion of income from managed care and physicians practicing in areas with high HMO penetration were most likely to report quality of life issues--such as more personal time, more predictable work hours, or reduced administrative burden--as the rationale for HMO plan affiliation. CONCLUSIONS: These findings support the view that the majority of HMO-affiliated physicians join HMOs to avoid a perceived penalty associated with lack of affiliation, rather than for positive reasons. The data also suggest that physicians with managed care experience affiliate more often for quality of life reasons. (+info)
Going the distance: the influence of practice location on the Ontario Maternal Serum Screening Program.
BACKGROUND: The Ontario Maternal Serum Screening (MSS) Program was introduced by the Ontario Ministry of Health as a province-wide pilot project in 1993. The objective of this study was to determine the influence of practice location on Ontario health care providers' use of and opinions regarding MSS, access to follow-up services and recommendations about the program. METHODS: A questionnaire was mailed to a random sample of 2000 family physicians, all 565 obstetricians and all 62 registered midwives in Ontario between November 1994 and March 1995. RESULTS: Among providers who were eligible (those providing antenatal care or attending births) the response rates were 91.4% (778/851), 76.0% (273/359) and 78.0% (46/59) respectively. Fewer respondents in the Northwest region (71.4%) and in rural areas (81.9%) stated that they routinely offer MSS to all pregnant women in their practices compared with respondents in other regions (84.4%-91.5%) and urban centres (90.1%). Fewer respondents in the northern regions (Northeast 49.2%, Northwest 25.0%) than in the Central East region (includes Toronto) (76.6%) felt that follow-up services were readily available. Respondents in the northern regions had less favourable opinions of MSS than those in the other regions in terms of its complexity, cost, the time involved in counselling and the high false-positive rate. More respondents in the Central East region (64.6%) and in urban centres (52.9%) recommended not changing the MSS program than did those in the Northwest (7.1%) and rural areas (39.8%). After provider characteristics were controlled for in a logistic regression analysis, practice location was not the most important factor. Instead, the model showed that respondents who cared for 50 or more pregnant women in the previous year were more likely to offer MSS routinely (OR 2.00, 95% CI 1.21-3.27) and that those who felt that patient characteristics affect the offering of MSS (OR 0.42, 95% CI 0.26-0.67) or that follow-up services were not readily available (OR 0.33, 95% CI 0.20-0.55) were less likely to offer it. INTERPRETATION: Health care providers in northern and rural Ontario were less likely to offer MSS routinely than those in other regions and were more likely to recommend changing or eliminating the program. Providers' concerns about the social and cultural sensitivity of MSS and the availability of follow-up services affected use. (+info)
GPs' employment of locum doctors and satisfaction with their service.
BACKGROUND: Locum doctors provide cover during normal working hours for GPs absent due to holidays, sickness, maternity leave or for educational purposes. However, there is little information on the extent of the use of locums or of GPs' perception of their services. OBJECTIVES: To examine the level of use of locum doctors by GPs, the ease of recruitment and satisfaction with their services. METHODS: A postal survey of all general practices in one of the six health regions in England was carried out. Logistic regression analysis was used to examine the independent effects on locum use of practice size and type of area, source of recruitment and GPs' satisfaction with their services. RESULTS: A total of 935 (80.6%) general practices responded. Locum GPs were employed by 81.7% of practices in the previous 12 months. Two-thirds of practices reported problems obtaining locum cover, especially at short notice and for holiday periods. One-fifth of practices employing a locum in the previous 12 months were dissatisfied with the locum. CONCLUSIONS: There are high demands for, but a considerable shortage of, locum doctors in general practice. Educational and other initiatives for GPs may contribute to increased demands for locum cover. Difficulties in recruitment may be reduced by measures to improve the conditions of employment for doctors working as locums on a longer term basis. New codes of practice for employing locums may increase satisfaction with locum services. (+info)
Postgraduate training positions. Follow-up survey of third-year residents in family medicine.
OBJECTIVE: To survey all family medicine programs in Canada to determine how many positions for third-year training were available. DESIGN: The survey instrument contained questions to determine how many second-year positions and how many third-year positions each program had. Descriptions of third-year positions were requested. One survey question asked about the percentage of people with third-year training who initially went into rural or small-town practice. Last, each program director was asked for an opinion on how many third-year positions should be available for further training. SETTING: The survey was administered to the program directors of all 16 family medicine programs in Canada. PARTICIPANTS: Program directors of departments of family medicine. RESULTS: The survey indicated that the number of third-year positions was 18% of the number of second-year positions currently available (an increase over the 10% determined in Busing's study in 1989). The largest proportion of third-year training was in emergency medicine, and approximately 30% of third-year positions were primarily reserved for physicians intending to go into rural practice. Academic family physicians and residents are in fairly close agreement that third-year positions should represent 40% of second-year positions. CONCLUSION: A survey of Canadian family medicine programs during the 1996-1997 academic years indicated that third-year positions available for family medicine residents have almost doubled since Busing's original survey in 1989. (+info)
Trends in Medicaid physician fees, 1993-1998.
This study uses data on Medicaid physician fees in 1993 and 1998 to document variation in fees across the country, describe changes in these fees, and contrast how they changed relative to those in Medicare. The results show that 1998 Medicaid fees varied widely. Medicaid fees grew 4.6 percent between 1993 and 1998, lagging behind the general rate of inflation. This growth was greater for primary care services than for other services studied. Relative to Medicare physician fees, Medicaid fees fell by 14.3 percent between 1993 and 1998. Medicaid's low fees and slow growth rates suggest that potential access problems among Medicaid enrollees remain a policy issue that should be monitored. (+info)