Research Project

What Do People Think Is Important about Primary Healthcare?

The purpose of this study was to inform quality improvement and performance measurement initiatives in primary healthcare based on the perceptions of British Columbia residents. Key features of care were identified during focus group discussions on important areas in primary healthcare, particularly those that could be improved.

Eleven focus groups (n=75) were held. Ninety-six per cent of participants reported that they had a regular primary healthcare provider and had been with that provider for an average of 8.5 years. We conducted a thematic content analysis using a coding scheme based on a logic model for this sector.

Analysis revealed the importance of six domains: accessibility (geographic location and timeliness of appointments), continuity, responsiveness, interpersonal communication, technical quality and whole-person care. Although participants discussed accessibility most frequently, domains more often associated with satisfaction were interpersonal communication and continuity.