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The Relationship Between Physician Friendliness and Caring, and Patient Satisfaction

Adam Uhas, Fabian Camacho, Steven Feldman and Rajesh Balkrishnan ()

The Patient: Patient-Centered Outcomes Research, 2008, vol. 1, issue 2, pages 91-96

Abstract: Background: This study examines patient satisfaction with physicians. Patient satisfaction is a quality measure that affects treatment outcomes. More specifically, it examines how a patient’s perception of physician friendliness and caring can affect patient satisfaction. Methods: A cross-sectional survey study was conducted with a convenience sample of 20 901 patients who rated their recent visit to a physician via an internet-based survey. The survey included questions on aspects of overall satisfaction with physician care and office practice as well as more detailed items, including demographics, physician ‘friendliness and caring’ (collectively referred to as ‘empathy’ in this paper), time spent with the doctor, and areas that could be improved. Responses to the questions were on a scale from 0 (‘not at all satisfied’) to 10 (‘extremely satisfied’). These scales were then used to represent patient satisfaction. Results: Of the 20 901 patients who participated in the online survey, perceived empathy was the most predominant correlate associated with patient satisfaction with their physician, with a partial correlation of 0.87 (p > 0.001) and a Pearson correlation of 0.92 (p > 0.001). Patient satisfaction with the office setting was also highly correlated with empathy scores, with a partial correlation of 0.72 (p > 0.001) and a Pearson correlation of 0.83 (p > 0.001). Other factors, such as waiting time, and problems with appointments, staff, records, parking, doctor care, and ways of obtaining information, also played a role in patients’ overall satisfaction with the physician. Conclusions: Patient satisfaction ratings are strongly correlated with patient perceptions of physician friendliness and caring. Copyright Adis Data Information BV 2008

Date: 2008
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