Agu, K.A., Oqua, D., Agada, P. et al. Int J Clin Pharm (2014) 36: 636. doi:10.1007/s11096-014-9948-3
Background The patient’s perception and satisfaction are increasingly considered as a useful factor in the assessment of competency of health care providers and quality of care. However, these patient focused assessments are largely ignored when assessing health care outcomes. Objective The study assessed the perception and satisfaction of patients receiving antiretroviral therapy (ART) with pharmaceutical services received in outpatient HIV treatment settings. Setting Seventeen HIV treatment centres in Nigeria. Methods This cross-sectional survey included 2,700 patients randomly selected from 26,319 HIV patients on ART, who received pharmaceutical services in the study setting. A study-specific Likert-type instrument was administered to the participants at point of exit from the pharmacy. Midpoint of the 5-point scale was computed and scores above it were regarded as positive while below as negative. Chi-square was used for inferential statistics. All reported p values were 2-sided at 95 % confidence interval (CI). Main outcome measure Patient satisfaction with pharmaceutical services. Results Of 2,700 patients sampled, data from 1,617 (59.9 %) were valid for analysis; 62.3 % were aged 26–40 years and 65.4 % were females. The participants had received pharmaceutical services for a mean duration of 25.2 (95 % CI 24.3–26.1) months. Perception of participants regarding the appearance of pharmacy was positive while that regarding the pharmacists’ efforts to solve patients’ medication related problems was negative. The participants’ rating of satisfaction with the waiting time to access pharmaceutical services was negative; the satisfaction decreases with increasing waiting time. However, the satisfaction with the overall quality of pharmaceutical services received was rated as positive; 90.0 % reported that they got the kind of pharmaceutical services they wanted; 98.2 % would come back to the pharmacy if they were to seek help again and would recommend services to others. The level of satisfaction was found to be associated with educational status of the participants (p = 0.006) unlike age, sex, marital and employment status. Conclusion The satisfaction with overall quality of pharmaceutical services received by participants was positive. Longer waiting times resulted in lower patient satisfaction. High patient load may be the cause of the long waiting time and the inadequate duration of interaction between pharmacist and the patient.