Sami speakers are less satisfied with general practitioners' services

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Nystad, Tove ; Melhus, Marita ; Lund, Eiliv (2008)
  • Publisher: Co-Action Publishing
  • Journal: (issn: 1797-237X, eissn: 1239-9736)
  • Related identifiers: doi: 10.3402/ijch.v67i1.18246
  • Subject: same | sami speakers | samisktalende | general practitioners | allmennpraktiker | communication; general practitioners’ service; patient satisfaction; Sami-speakers | sami

OBJECTIVES: The government`s Action Plan for Health and Social Services states as a goal that the Sami population`s encounter with health and social services should be just as good as what the rest of the population experiences. The goal of this study is to investigate patient satisfaction with the municipal GP service in areas with both a Sami and Norwegian population. STUDY DESIGN: A cross-sectional population study using questionnaires. METHODS: The data were taken from the population based study of health and living conditions in areas with both Sami and Norwegian populations (SAMINOR) in which respondents were asked about their satisfaction with GP services in their municipalities. This population survey was carried out in the period 2002-2004. The analyses include 15,612 men and women aged 36-79. RESULTS: The Sami-speaking patients were less satisfied with the municipal GP service as a whole than were the Norwegian speakers; RR 2.4 (95% CI 2.1-2.7). They were less satisfied with the physicians` language skills; RR 5.8 (95% CI 4.8-7.0); and they felt that misunderstandings between physician and patient due to language problems were more frequent; RR 3.8 (95% CI 3.3-4.3). One-third expressed that they did not wish to use an interpreter. CONCLUSIONS: The results indicate that it is necessary to place greater emphasis on the physicians` language competency when hiring GPs in municipalities within the Administrative Area for the Sami Language. This could improve satisfaction with the physicians` services.Keywords: communication; general practitioners’ service; patient satisfaction; Sami-speakers(Int J Circumpolar Health 2008; 67(1):116-123)
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