Background: Patient satisfaction has become an integral component of the quality of healthcare services. It has been used for the purpose of performance assessment, reimbursement, and quality management of health service delivery. It has been suggested that patient satisfaction could be a predictor of health-related behavior.
Objectives: To develop and validate a tool for use within the Arabic context to assess patient satisfaction. To assess patient satisfaction with current community pharmacy services in the UAE using the validated tool.
Methods: A systematic process was used to develop an assessment tool that could be used within the Arabic context and establish its validity and reliability. Survey participants assessed their satisfaction with the services based on a 5-point Likert-type scale: Poor = 1, Fair = 2, Good = 3, Very good = 4, Excellent = 5. The anonymous questionnaire was distributed over a 5-month period to eligible participants in public places such as malls and shopping markets, in various emirates across the UAE. Those who were 21 years or older, taking at least one scheduled (regular) medication and having adequate Arabic or English language proficiency were included.
Results: The instrument comprised four dimensions: Information, Relationship, Accessibility and Availability. Participants required more information about medications and self-management (Mean = 2.49 ± 1.19). Measures of competence, i.e., care, interest, time, confidence and trust, could also be improved (Mean = 3.05 ± 1.07). Accessibility scores measuring physical, geographical and financial items were lowest (Mean = 2.80 ± 1.33). Overall scores on availability of medications indicated relative satisfaction with this dimension (Mean = 3.51 ± 0.7).
Conclusions: This study is the first to use a patient satisfaction tool specifically developed for the Arabic context. Patient satisfaction scores in all dimensions were significantly lower than published data, suggesting patients have unmet expectations of community pharmacy services in the UAE. Stakeholders could utilize this information to help in the design and delivery of improved services that could lead to increased demand.