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Patients' perception of privacy during emergency department care in hospitals in Aragón, Spain

Mozota Duarte J, Moliner Lahoz J, García Noaín A, Moreno Mirallas MJ, Fernández Moros RW, Rabanaque Hernández MJ

Hospital Clínico Universitario Lozano Blesa, Zaragoza, Spain. Hospital Royo Villanova, Zaragoza, Spain. Hospital Ernest Lluch,Calatayud, Zaragoza, Spain. Facultad de Medicina de Zaragoza, Spain. Instituto Aragonés de Ciencias de la Salud, Zaragoza, Spain.

Objective: To analyze patients' perception of respect for their privacy in hospital
emergency departments in Aragon.
Methods: In a prospective survey patients were asked to evaluate respect for their
privacy while they were treated in hospital emergency departments. Assessments were
expressed on a 5-point Likert scale. The study population was a stratified random sample
of patients discharged from each of the participating hospital emergency departments.
Results: A total of 3949 patient questionnaires were analyzed. The mean score for
auditory privacy was 3.93 (range, 1-5; 95% CI, 3.89-3.96). The mean score for visual
privacy was 4.32 (95% CI, 4.29-4.35). The overall privacy score was a mean of 4.17
(95% CI, 4.15-4.21). The mean scores for men were higher for auditory privacy (3.97 vs
3.90 for women, P<.05), visual privacy (4.35 vs 4.30, P<.05), and overall privacy (4.21 vs
4.16, P<.05). Private and small hospitals received better scores on all aspects of privacy
Conclusions: Privacy is adequately respected in hospital emergency departments according to 64% to 92% of patients. Auditory privacy is the aspect that receives the lowest ratings. Although these scores can be considered positive, we must attempt to achieve a higher level that will be perceived as fully respectful given that privacy is a basic patient right.

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