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Gap between Individual Perception and Expectations and Services Quality in Health Centres of Tehran, Iran.

Author(s) Davoud Shojaeizadeh1, Sima Esmaeili Shahmirzadi2, Monavvar Moradian3, Esmaeil Shojaeizadeh 4.
Affiliation(s) Health Education and Promotion Department, School of Public Health, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran, tehran, Iran, Health Education and Promotion Department, School of Public Health, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran, tehran, Iran, Health Education and Promotion Department, School of Public Health, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran, tehran, Iran, 4 Health Education and Promotion Department, School of Public Health, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran, tehran, Iran.
Country - ies of focus Iran
Relevant to the conference tracks Health Systems
Summary Services quality is the determining factor of an organisations success in a competitive environment. Evaluation of services is an essential step in the improvement of health programs. The aim of this study was to survey the gap between individual perception and expectations concerning the service quality in the health Centers of Tehran, Iran by usage of SERVQUAL.
This research was a descriptive and analytical. The cross-sectional study was performed between 2012-2013 in the health centers under the coverage of Medical and health network of Tehran city. Data gathering was conducted with two questionnaires. The first questionnaire contained four questions on demographic characteristics (gender, age, educational status and marital status).
Background Service quality is the determining factor of an organisations success in a competitive environment. Evaluation of services is an essential step in health program improvement. The aim of this study was to survey the gap between individual perception and expectations concerning service quality in the health Centers of Tehran, Iran by usage of SERVQUAL.
Objectives The aim of this study was to survey the gap between individual perception and expectations concerning service quality in the health Centers of Tehran, Iran by usage of SERVQUAL.
Methodology This research was a descriptive and analytical. The cross-sectional study was performed between 2013 in the health centers under the coverage of Medical and Health network of Tehran city. Data gathering was conducted with two questionnaires. The first questionnaire contained four questions on demographic characteristics (gender, age, educational status and marital status). The second one consisted of the SERVQUAL questionnaire. The SERVQUAL tool consists of the expectations and perceptions sections. In each section there were 22 statements on five domains: tangibility (4 items), reliability (4 items), responsiveness (4 items), assurance (5 items) and empathy (5 items). The Persian version of SERVQUAL questionnaire has gained necessary validity and Cronbach's alpha was calculated at 0.9. Results were considered significant at conventional p0.05 level. The sample size was 200 people and participants randomly selected from individuals that were referred to health centers affiliated to the Tehran University of medical science in 2012-2013. For data analysis SPSS 18 and Independent T- Test, ANOVA test and Pearson correlation were used.
Results The age average of the subjects was 28.79±7. 41. Among them, 99.5% were female and only 0.5% were male. Also 99.5 percent of the participants (199 persons) were married, and 0.5% (1 person) was single. Gap Average of Individual’s perceptions and expectations were calculated respectively in the domains of tangibility (0.95±0.88), reliability (0.48±0.86), responsiveness (0.53±0.85), assurance (0.49±0.77) and empathy (0.67±0.93) respectively. The total gap between perceptions and expectations of service quality was 0.63±0.73. The gap maximum between perceptions and expectations was in the tangibility domain (0.95±0.88) and the gap minimum was in the reliability (0.48±0.86).
200 participants were in the study. 11% were illiterate, 54.5 percent of the respondents had an elementary educational level, 32% were high school and 2.5 percent had a College education.
Conclusion The large gap between perceptions and expectations of the participants in the tangible indicator suggests that the physical environment and facilities need to be improved in the health centers. Cooperation from the private sector investment in public centers may be effective in reducing the present problems.

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