Rural-To-Urban Migrants' experiences with primary care under different types of medical institutions in Guangzhou, China

Jiazhi Zeng, Leiyu Shi, Xia Zou, Wen Chen, Li Ling

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Objectives China is facing the unprecedented challenge of rapidly increasing rural-To-urban migration. Migrants are in a vulnerable state when they attempt to access to primary care services. This study was designed to explore rural-To-urban migrants' experiences in primary care, comparing their quality of primary care experiences under different types of medical institutions in Guangzhou, China. Methods The study employed a cross-sectional survey of 736 rural-To-urban migrants in Guangzhou, China in 2014. A validated Chinese version of Primary Care Assessment Tool-Adult Short Version (PCAT-AS), representing 10 primary care domains was used to collect information on migrants' quality of primary care experiences. These domains include first contact (utilization), first contact (accessibility), ongoing care, coordination (referrals), coordination (information systems), comprehensiveness (services available), comprehensiveness (services provided), family-centeredness, community orientation and culturally competent. These measures were used to assess the quality of primary care performance as reported from patients' perspective. Analysis of covariance was conducted for comparison on PCAT scores among migrants accessing primary care in tertiary hospitals, municipal hospitals, community health centers/community health stations, and township health centers/rural health stations. Multiple linear regression models were used to explore factors associated with PCAT total scores. Results After adjustments were made, migrants accessing primary care in tertiary hospitals (25.49) reported the highest PCAT total scores, followed by municipal hospitals (25.02), community health centers/community health stations (24.24), and township health centers/rural health stations (24.18). Tertiary hospital users reported significantly better performance in first contact (utilization), first contact (accessibility), coordination (information system), comprehensiveness (service available), and cultural competence. Community health center/ community health station users reported significantly better experience in the community orientation domain. Township health center/rural health station users expressed significantly better experience in the ongoing care domain. There were no statistically significant differences across settings in the ongoing care, comprehensiveness (services provided), and family-centeredness domains. Multiple linear regression models showed that factors positively associated with higher PCAT total scores also included insurance covering parts of healthcare payment (P<0.001). Conclusions This study highlights the need for improvement in primary care provided by primary care institutions for rural-To-urban migrants. Relevant policies related to medical insurance should be implemented for providing affordable healthcare services for migrants accessing primary care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0140922
JournalPloS one
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 16 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General


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