OBJECTIVE: To examine the simultaneous associations of parent and coder assessments of communication events with parent satisfaction. STUDY SETTING: Five hundred twenty-two pediatrician-patient encounters. STUDY DESIGN: Parents reported on post-visit satisfaction with care and whether four communication events occurred. Raters also coded communication events from videotapes. Multivariate analyses predicted parent satisfaction. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Satisfaction was greater when parents perceived at least three communication events. Parent and coder reports were nearly uncorrelated. Coder-assessed communication events not perceived by parents were unrelated to parent satisfaction. CONCLUSIONS: Parents are more satisfied when most or all of the expected parent-physician communications occur. A successful pediatrician-parent communication event is one that a parent recognizes as having occurred; it is not merely one that a trained observer says occurred.
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