Patient satisfaction with service quality in Kenyan University Dental Hospitals

Kabubei, Edward Mungure
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Strathmore University
Patients seek oral health services to alleviate pain, treat diseases affecting the teeth and face, improve aesthetics as well as to prevent and promote oral health. Patient satisfaction has many dimensions which include expectations, values, and actual experiences. It is a key indicator of measuring quality of healthcare. It affects patients’ behavior on how quickly they seek and recommend healthcare services. This in turn influences how effective healthcare will be in terms of their compliance and it shapes how they utilize healthcare services in the future. The main objective of this study therefore was to determine patient satisfaction with service quality in University Dental Hospitals in Kenya. The research was based on the Donabedian theory of patient satisfaction (structure, process, and outcome) and the disconfirmation theory of consumer behavior applied using a SERVQUAL model. The study employed convenience sampling and a cross-sectional study design. Primary data were collected using a guided SERVQUAL questionnaire administered to 388 patients attending Moi University and The University of Nairobi dental hospitals before and after receiving services. The data collected was presented by use of descriptive statistics (mean and standard deviation) and inferential (multiple regression) using SPSS. The results showed that overall patient satisfaction was high with a mean satisfaction score of 93.9%; further, service quality influences patient satisfaction. Improving service quality increases patient satisfaction, revisit intention and recommendation. From the multiple linear regression model the five service quality dimensions positively and significantly influenced patient satisfaction. In addition, the service quality dimensions included in the model accounted for 62.7% change in patients’ satisfaction. The model revealed responsiveness of healthcare givers as the most influential in boosting the patients’ satisfaction, followed by assurance, reliability, empathy, and tangibles dimensions. The study further unraveled that overall service quality increase patient satisfaction and positively impact revisit intention and future utilization of services in University Dental Hospitals. This study therefore recommends to the management of healthcare facilities to invest more resources in making sure that the responsiveness, assurance, reliability, empathy, and tangibles dimensions of service quality are incorporated in their day-to-day service delivery programs as it bolsters their satisfaction and builds loyalty of their patients. The study limitation is that the population under study was confined to public university dental hospitals in Nairobi and Eldoret, Kenya. The findings may not be generalizable to other healthcare services or institutions. Future research can extend this to other sectors of the healthcare system and incorporate a qualitative component to better understand patient and provider behaviour.
A Thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Degree of Master of Business Administration in Healthcare Management at Strathmore Business School