Aims: This study examines the mechanisms responsible for ethnic differences in perceived quality of care in the Netherlands. The specific role of cultural attitudes, language proficiency, and the health system in the country of origin was examined, taking socio-demographic characteristics into account. Methods: Interview data of 1339 respondents of Moroccan, Turkish, Surinamese and Antillean origin were combined with interview data of Dutch respondents (n = 405) and of Western immigrants (n = 102) in the Netherlands and of a random sample of Dutch privately or publicly insured persons (n = 9675). Data collection took place within the Second Dutch National Survey of General Practice (DNSGP-2, 2001). Items from the QUality Of care Through the patient's Eyes (QUOTE) questionnaire were used to measure expectations, as well as items from the QUOTE-Mi (adapted version for migrant groups). Items on normative orientations were used to measure cultural attitudes. Results: In contrast to our hypothesis, respondents with more egalitarian/modern attitudes attached less importance to quality aspects related to access and quality. Tests on the role of the health system of reference were generally conclusive, showing that respondents accustomed to (parts of) another system have different expectations regarding several aspects of general practitioner healthcare quality, e.g. access to specialist care. Conclusions: Besides socio-demographic characteristics, culture influences patients' expectations regarding general practitioner care quality. However, the role of culture can be more clearly ascribed to the characteristics of the health system which is held as the reference than to the general attitudes on normative orientations.

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Scandinavian Journal of Public Health
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam