Objectives To identify factors associated with general satisfaction among clients attending outpatient clinics in a referral hospital in Uganda.
Design Cross-sectional exit survey of patients and care-givers in selected outpatient clinics.
Setting Seven outpatients' clinics at Mulago National Referral and Teaching Hospital.
Main Outcome Measures Mean score of clients' general satisfaction with health-care services.
Results Overall the clients' general satisfaction was suboptimal. Average satisfaction was higher among clients with a primary or secondary education compared with none, those attending HIV treatment and research clinic compared with general outpatient clients, and returning relative to new clients. Conversely, satisfaction was lower among clients incurring costs of at least $1.5 during the visit, and those reporting longer waiting time (>2 h). Client's perceived technical competence of provider, accessibility, convenience and availability of services especially prescribed drugs were the strongest predictor of general satisfaction.
Conclusions This study highlights the important findings about outpatient services at Mulago hospital. The sub-optimal satisfaction scores for outpatient care strongly suggest that more could be done to assure that services provided are more patient centered. Significant factors including category of clinic visited, waiting time, costs incurred, accessibility of services and perceived providers' technical competence at this hospital should be explored by the Makerere University College of Health Sciences and Mulago hospital for potential improvements in quality of the health service delivered.