Service quality in Iranian hospitals: A systematic review and meta-analysis.

Research paper by Satar S Rezaei, Mohammad M Hajizadeh, Hamed H Zandian, Afshin A Fathi, Bijan B Nouri

Indexed on: 04 Sep '18Published on: 04 Sep '18Published in: Medical journal of the Islamic Republic of Iran


This study aimed to explore service quality in Iranian hospitals by a systematic review and meta-analysis of the existing literature. The literature search in the international (PubMed, Scopus, and the ISI) and Iranian (SID, Iranmedex, and Magiran) scientific databases was conducted to identify studies (published in English and Persian) used the service quality gap (SERVQUAL) model to examine service quality in Iranian hospitals between 2000 and 2016. The databases were searched using a combination of the following keywords: "hospital service quality", or "healthcare service quality", and "SERVQUAL model", or "gap model", and "Iran". A random-effects meta-analysis model was used to investigate the quality of hospital care in Iran. A total of 13 articles with 4,217 patients were included in the study. Results indicate that there are negative gap values between patients' expectations and perceptions in six SERVQUAL dimensions namely. tangibility, reliability, responsiveness, assurance, empathy, and access. The overall mean score of patients' expectations and perceptions of quality of hospital care in Iran were estimated 4.59 and 3.69, respectively (i.e., quality score gap= -0.9). The highest and lowest quality score gap values were related to the reliability and responsiveness dimensions, correspondingly. The study found that expectations of patients from hospital care have not been met in Iran. Thus, improving service quality in Iranian hospitals warrants further attention by health professionals, health policy-makers, and hospital managers.