Korean J Fam Med.  2019 May;40(3):143-150. 10.4082/kjfm.17.0093.

Association between Types of Usual Source of Care and User Perception of Overall Health Care Service Quality in Korea

  • 1Department of Family Medicine, Dongguk University Ilsan Hospital, Dongguk University College of Medicine, Goyang, Korea.
  • 2Department of Family Medicine, College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, Korea. jaeholee@catholic.ac.kr


Patients' perceptions of care tend to correlate with the quality of care provided. Different health care systems and service environments may show different associations between types of usual source of care (USC) and overall service quality assessment. We attempted to analyze this association as a benefit of having a USC.
This study used the 2012 Korea Health Panel data version 1.1 as representative national household survey data. The total number of subjects aged 18 years or more was 12,708. The number of subjects in the final analysis was 10,665. Multiple logistic regression analysis was used to assess the association between types of USC and overall health care service quality. The main outcome variable was users' ratings of the quality of health care service.
People having a usual doctor (n=1,796) were more likely to positively assess the quality of health care they received than those not having a USC (n=7,920; odds ratio [OR], 1.39; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.20-1.60) or with those having only a place as a USC without a usual doctor (n=949; OR, 1.29; 95% CI, 1.05-1.58) after adjustment for demographic characteristics and health-related variables.
People having a usual doctor rated overall health care service quality as high, which might be due to benefits of primary care attributes related to usual doctors. Further studies are needed to elucidate the causal relationship. This finding implies that health policies encouraging people to have a usual doctor are needed in Korea.


Health Care Quality Assessment; Surveys and Questionnaires; Primary Health Care; Korea; Usual Source of Care

MeSH Terms

Delivery of Health Care*
Family Characteristics
Health Policy
Logistic Models
Odds Ratio
Primary Health Care
Quality Assurance, Health Care
Quality of Health Care
Surveys and Questionnaires
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