To analyse the care continuity across levels of care perceived by patients with chronic conditions in public healthcare networks in six Latin American countries (Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Uruguay), and to explore associated factors.
Cross-sectional study by means of a survey conducted to a random sample of chronic patients in primary care centres of the study networks (784 per country) using the questionnaire Cuestionario de Continuidad Asistencial Entre Niveles de Atención (CCAENA)©. Patients had at least one chronic condition and had used two levels of care in the 6 months prior to the survey for the same medical condition. Descriptive analysis and multivariable logistic regression were carried out.
Although there are notable differences between the networks analysed, the results show that chronic patients perceive significant discontinuities in the exchange of clinical information between primary care and secondary care doctors and in access to secondary care following a referral; as well as, to a lesser degree, regarding clinical coherence across levels. Relational continuity with primary care and secondary care doctors and information transfer are positively associated with care continuity across levels; no individual factor is systematically associated with care continuity.
Main perceived discontinuities relate to information transfer and access to secondary care after a referral. The study indicates the importance of organisational factors to improve chronic patients’ quality of care.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Salud pública, medioambiental y laboral