What do measures of patient satisfaction with the doctor tell us?

Boquiren, Virginia M., Hack, Tom, Beaver, Kinta orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-6552-2323 and Williamson, Susan orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-9635-4473 (2015) What do measures of patient satisfaction with the doctor tell us? Patient Education and Counseling, 98 (12). pp. 1465-1473. ISSN 07383991

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.pec.2015.05.020


Objective: To gain an understanding of how patient satisfaction (PS) with the doctor (PSD) is conceptualized through an empirical review of how it is currently being measured. The content of PS questionnaire items was examined to (a) determine the primary domains underlying PSD, and (b) summarize the specific doctor-related characteristics and behaviors, and patient-related perceptions, composing each domain. Methods: A scoping review of empirical articles that assessed PSD published from 2000 to November 2013. MEDLINE and PsycINFO databases were searched. Results: The literature search yielded 1726 articles, 316 of which fulfilled study inclusion criteria. PSD was realized in one of four health contexts, with questions being embedded in a larger questionnaire that assessed PS with either: (1) overall healthcare, (2) a specific medical encounter, or (3) the healthcare team. In the fourth context, PSD was the questionnaire's sole focus. Five broad domains underlying PSD were revealed: (1) Communication Attributes; (2) Relational Conduct; (3) Technical Skill/Knowledge; (4) Personal Qualities; and (5) Availability/Accessibility. Conclusions: Careful consideration of measurement goals and purposes is necessary when selecting a PSD measure. Practice implications: The five emergent domains underlying PSD point to potential key areas of physician training and foci for quality assessment.

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