PloS one 2016 08 2211(8) e0161553 doi 10.1371/journal.pone.0161553
Access to healthcare is an important public health concept and has been traditionally measured by using population level parameters, such as availability, distribution and proximity of the health facilities in relation to the population. However, client based factors such as their expectations, experiences and perceptions which impact their evaluations of health care access were not well studied and integrated into health policy frameworks and implementation programs.
This study aimed to investigate factors associated with perceived access to HIV/AIDS Treatment and care services in Wolaita Zone, Ethiopia.
A cross-sectional survey was conducted on 492 people living with HIV, with 411 using ART and 81 using pre-ART services accessed at six public sector health facilities from November 2014 to March 2015. Data were analyzed using the ologit function of STATA. The variables explored consisted of socio-demographic and health characteristics, type of health facility, type of care, distance, waiting time, healthcare responsiveness, transportation convenience, satisfaction with service, quality of care, financial fairness, out of pocket expenses and HIV disclosure.
Of the 492 participants, 294 (59.8%) were females and 198 (40.2%) were males, with a mean age of 38.8 years. 23.0% and 12.2% believed they had ‘good’ or ‘very good’ access respectively, and 64.8% indicated lower ratings. In the multivariate analysis, distance from the health facility, type of care, HIV clinical stage, out of pocket expenses, employment status, type of care, HIV disclosure and perceived transportation score were not associated with the perceived access (PA). With a unit increment in satisfaction, perceived quality of care, health system responsiveness, transportation convenience and perceived financial fairness scores, the odds of providing higher rating of PA increased by 29.0% (p<0.001), 6.0%(p<0.01), 100.0% (p<0.001), 9.0% (p<0.05) and 6.0% (p<0.05) respectively. CONCLUSION
Perceived quality of care, health system responsiveness, perceived financial fairness, transportation convenience and satisfaction with services were correlates of perceived access and affected healthcare performance. Interventions targeted at improving access to HIV/AIDS treatment and care services should address these factors. Further studies may be needed to confirm the findings.