Measuring Population Experiences of Primary Care: Innovations in Primary Care Assessment in OECD and LAC countries

Jan 2014
This study develops a composite measure of primary care experience, using the Commonwealth Fund's 2010 International Health Policy Survey (IHP), applied on eleven high income OECD countries, and based on user self-report. The multidimensional measure is composed of answers regarding specific primary care domains, including: accessibility, continuous care, coordination of care, and provider communication and cultural competence. The overall measure of primary care experience is tested and validated, including an exploration of population characteristics (e.g. sex, age, income, migration status, insurance type) that are associated with higher or lower assessments of the receipt of primary care. It explicitly assesses the influence of demographic, socioeconomic, health need, and health system variables, and includes important interaction terms between these variables. Based on the results, the measure's potential suitability for use in Latin America and the Caribbean is assessed. This includes commentary on possibilities for comparison between LAC and the OECD countries covered by the Commonwealth. The results suggest that it is possible to develop a composite measure of user primary care experience based on survey data. In general, the primary care measure developed performed relatively well in terms of discriminating between people who have good versus poor experiences with their health system.