Patients’ Awareness of Their Rights: Insight from a Developing Country

Document Type: Original Article

Authors

1 Department of Health Information Management, School of Paramedicine, Hormozgan University of Medical Sciences, Bandar-Abbas, Iran

2 School of Paramedicine, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

3 Research Centre for Social Determinants of Health, Institute for Futures Studies in Health, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran

4 Department of Planning, Budgeting, and Performance Monitoring, Hormozgan University of Medical Sciences, Bandar-Abbas, Iran

Abstract

Background
Considering the effect of human right observance on patients’ satisfaction from the treatment process, in Iran the Patient Rights Charter (PRC) was developed by the Ministry of Health and Medical Education (MOHME) in 2001 and enforced to all hospitals across the country. The purpose of the current study was to evaluate patients’ awareness of their rights based on PRC in two tertiary teaching hospitals affiliated with Shiraz University of Medical Sciences (SUMS) in Iran.
 
Methods
Current study was a cross-sectional descriptive and analytical survey. The research sample consisted of 200 inpatients and data were gathered through questionnaires filled out during the interview. The rate of awareness of patients was measured on a Likert scale ranging from 1 to 4. Validity and reliability of the questionnaire were confirmed. Data were analysed by descriptive and analytical statistics.
 
Results
In 30.5% of cases, the total awareness of patients was weak, in 59.4% was moderate, and in 10.1% of them was good. The most awareness was about trust and assurance to confidentiality of treatment team, and the least was about providing sufficient information about treatment options and their complications. There was a significant relationship between educational level and the place of residency with patients’ awareness (P<0.001).
 
Conclusion
Total awareness of patients from their rights was medium. Although compared to similar studies this rate was not unsatisfactory, attempts should be made to improve it. Health care organizations are to deliver PRC to patients and make sure they have proper information about their rights. Assuring observance of patients’ rights requires not only informing healthcare policy makers and providers, but also educating citizens about what they must expect from their governments and health care providers. This will consequently improve the quality of services. Establishment of Patient Right Committee for supervision and monitoring of informing and observance of patients’ rights is also recommended.

Keywords

Main Subjects


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