Original Research

Time, expectation and satisfaction: Patients’ experience at National Hospital Abuja, Nigeria

Oluwagbenga Ogunfowokan, Muhammad Mora
African Journal of Primary Health Care & Family Medicine | Vol 4, No 1 | a398 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/phcfm.v4i1.398 | © 2012 Oluwagbenga Ogunfowokan, Muhammad Mora | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 07 December 2011 | Published: 19 July 2012

About the author(s)

Oluwagbenga Ogunfowokan, Department of Family Medicine, National Hospital Abuja, Nigeria, Nigeria
Muhammad Mora, Department of Family Medicine, National Hospital Abuja, Nigeria, Nigeria


Background: Long patient-clinic encounter time is typical of many hospital general outpatient departments (OPD) in Nigeria.

Objectives: The objectives of our study were to determine the time spent by patients at the service points in the general OPD of the National Hospital Abuja (NHA), to establish the perception of patients regarding the patient–clinic encounter time, and to describe the level of satisfaction of patients with the services received.

Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted at the general OPD of the NHA. Information relating to the time spent at the various service points amongst others were obtained from 320 randomly selected patients using a patient administered validated questionnaire.

Results: Two hundred and seventy (84.4%) patients responded adequately and were analysed.The median patient–clinic encounter time was 2.7 hours (range 0.2–7.2 hours). The long patient–clinic encounter time was accounted for mainly by the waiting time to see a doctor which was a median of 1 hour (range 0–5.6 hours) and time spent at the medical records with median of 0.5 hours (range 0–5 hours). There was a significant relationship between a short waiting time as perceived by patients, clinic visit encounters where patients’ expectations were met or surpassed, and overall patient satisfaction with the clinic visit encounter (p < 0.001).

Conclusion: Reduction in patient–clinic encounter time and meeting patients’ pre-visit expectations could significantly improve patient satisfaction after clinic visit encounter at the general OPD of NHA.


patient-clinic encounter time; patients’ expectations; patients’ experiences; patient satisfaction


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