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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2012, Article ID 257569, 10 pages
Research Article

Satisfaction with Access to Health Services: The Perspective of Estonian Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis

1Department of Internal Medicine, University of Tartu, L. Puusepa 6, 51014 Tartu, Estonia
2Department of Internal Medicine, Tartu University Hospital, L. Puusepa 6, 51014 Tartu, Estonia
3Department of Public Health, University of Tartu, Ravila 19, 50411 Tartu, Estonia

Received 17 October 2011; Accepted 29 November 2011

Academic Editors: G. Onder and R. Sanmartí

Copyright © 2012 Kaja Põlluste et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


In this cross-sectional study we explained the possible determinants of satisfaction with access to health services in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Of the 2000 randomly selected Estonian adult patients with RA, a total 1259 completed the survey. Regression analysis was used to analyse the predictors of patients' satisfaction with access to health services. Half of the respondents were satisfied with their access to health services. Factors that had a negative impact on satisfaction included pain intensity, longer waiting times to see the doctors, as well as low satisfaction with the doctors. Transportation costs to visit a rheumatologist and higher rehabilitation expenses also affected the degree of satisfaction. Patients who could choose the date and time at which they could visit the rheumatologist or who could visit their “own” doctor were more likely to be satisfied than patients whose appointment times were appointed by a healthcare provider.