ABSTRACT Using importance-performance analysis (IPA), this paper examines the perceptions of patients and managers of health centres of several health care quality services attributes. IPA is an approach to the measurement of customer/user satisfaction which allows for a simple and functional identification of both the strong and the weak aspects, or improvement areas, of a given service. Taking both the importance assigned by users to all relevant aspects of a given service and the perceived performance of the establishment in providing the service, the result is an IPA grid with four quadrants. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first time this methodology has been used to compare the perceptions of health centre patients and managers. The results showed patients and managers to have very different perceptions of all the quality service attributes. Implications for researchers and health centre managers are discussed. The study illustrates the usefulness of the IPA model as a managerial tool in identifying areas to which marketing resources should be allocated in order to improve and enhance the quality of the health centre services provided.
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