Patients' perception and satisfaction on quality of laboratory malaria diagnostic service in Amhara Regional State, North West Ethiopia.

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    • Abstract:
      Background: The most effective strategies in the fight against malaria are to correctly diagnose and timely treat the illness. A diagnosis based on clinical symptoms alone is subjected to misuse of anti-malarial drugs, increased costs to the health services, patient dissatisfaction and also contributes to an increase in non-malaria morbidity and mortality. Among others, inappropriate perception and inadequate satisfaction of patients are significant challenges reported to affect the quality of laboratory malaria diagnostic services. Methods: A facility-based, cross-sectional study was conducted from November to December 2013 among 300 patients. Their level of satisfaction was measured using both pre-tested structured and open ended questionnaires. A 5-point Likert scales and their weighted average were used to categorize satisfaction level of the patients. Data were entered in Epi-Info version 3.5.3 and analysed using SPSS version 20. Chi-square test was used to see the association between the outcome variable and independent and the strength of the association was identified using odds ratio in the binary logistic regression. In addition the open ended questionnaire findings were coded and analysed thematically. Results: Over half (52.6 %) of the patients were satisfied with the malaria diagnostic service with a 98.7 % response rate. The majority (89.3 %) of patients perceived they were well diagnosed in facing fever upon giving blood for laboratory malaria diagnosis within 30 min waiting time in most (62.5 %) of the patients. Ethnicity, residence, knowing malaria diagnosis after consulting clinician, and time period to receive malaria result were the independent predictors for patient satisfaction (p < 0.05). The open ended questionnaire responses also revealed providing precise laboratory result timely, availability of the right treatment, presence of health professionals performing the laboratory test upon request in the health facility were among the major enabling factors for patients' satisfaction. Conclusion: The observed level of satisfaction in the current study though encouraging when compared with some previous studies conducted in eastern Ethiopia on general laboratory services, still it requires scale-up in the enhancement of malaria laboratory diagnostic service in the fight against malaria. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]
    • Abstract:
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