What does quality mean to the patient? An exploration of the expectations of patients for primary health care in Nigeria

Daprim Ogaji


Aim: To explore the expectation of primary health care (PHC) patients to assist the development of a patient evaluation scale designed to promote patient-focused quality assessment and improvement in PHC

Background: A significant proportion of patients seek health care from PHC facilities in Nigeria. Re-organising services to meet their expectations can lead to improved utilization and health benefits. This study is the preliminary phase of an iterative process for the development of a measure for patients’ evaluation of primary health care in Nigeria.

Methods: Semi-structured qualitative interviews conducted with 47 patients drawn from 4 PHC centres in Rivers State and the Federal Capital Territory in Nigeria. The constant comparative method used to analyse verbatim transcripts led to the generation of a framework of codes, concepts, and categories that defined the expectations of patients for PHC in Nigeria.

Findings: Analyses resulted in 44 coded themes for user’ description of the quality of PHC. The themes were reorganised around five thematic areas cutting across the triad of structure, process and outcome dimensions of quality.

Conclusion: It is essential that service users’ views be taken into account when selecting items to measure PHC outcomes and performance. The study provided insights into users’ views and expectations from PHC centres in Nigeria. Identified codes can be useful in an inductive process of generating questionnaire items intended to measure patients’ experiences of PHC in Nigeria.


expectations, views, primary health care, users, quality, Nigeria



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