Assessment of Patients' Knowledge and Awareness about their Rights and Duties

Abstract

Background: patient’s right is the one of the basic issues in health care. Implementation of patient's rights law is intended to secure good medical practice and can improve the doctor-patient relationship if both of them are aware of it.Objectives: To assess the level of knowledge and awareness of patients about their rights and duties.Subjects and methods: A cross-sectional survey was conducted for the period from 1st December 2013 to 28th February 2014 among patients of both sexes aged 17 years and more attending 16 primary health care centers in Basra city using a self-administered questionnaire. The study included 886 out of 1010 patients invited to participate in the study giving a response rate of 87.7%.Data analysis was done using SPSS version 19. Chi-square test was used to compare the proportions among the various groups and a P-value of <0.05 was considered to be statistically significant.Results: Eight hundred and eighty six (886) patients were included in the study aged 17-71 years with a mean age of 39.3 ± 13.8 years. Of them, 537 patients (60.6%) were females and 349 patients (39.4%) were males. Most patients (77.2%) didn't know about the existence of patients’ list of rights, even though they were aware about some of their rights, 72.4% of them disagreed to be prevented from access to information related to their health status, and 76.6% of them were aware about the privacy of such information. Most of the patients (73.5%) disagreed to withhold some information relevant to their health conditions, and 83.2% of them agreed to notify the PHC Center if they change their residential address.Conclusion: There was a lack of patients' knowledge regarding the patients' rights. Recommendation: Extensive education of patients about their rights through mass media and legislation of such rights are recommended.