Major dimensions of consumer perceptions regarding physicians and medical care services were identified using factor analysis of survey data, as follows: accessibility, availability of family doctors, availability of hospitals/specialists, completeness of facilities, continuity of care, and physician conduct (perceived quality and art of care). Scores for these dimensions and multiple linear regression methods were used to predict general satisfaction ratings for a cross-section of adults for groups differing in age, education, health status, and sex. Perceptions regarding physician conduct were clearly the best predictors of general satisfaction with care for the total sample and for all groups studied. Other factors also were important, suggesting that more than one interpretation of general satisfaction scores should always be considered when consumer satisfaction surveys are interpreted. Improvements in the conduct of physicians in dealing with their patients, even without altering the structure or organization of medical care, are likely to increase consumer satisfaction.
This report is part of the RAND Corporation Paper series. The paper was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1948 to 2003 that captured speeches, memorials, and derivative research, usually prepared on authors' own time and meant to be the scholarly or scientific contribution of individual authors to their professional fields. Papers were less formal than reports and did not require rigorous peer review.
Our mission to help improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis is enabled through our core values of quality and objectivity and our unwavering commitment to the highest level of integrity and ethical behavior. To help ensure our research and analysis are rigorous, objective, and nonpartisan, we subject our research publications to a robust and exacting quality-assurance process; avoid both the appearance and reality of financial and other conflicts of interest through staff training, project screening, and a policy of mandatory disclosure; and pursue transparency in our research engagements through our commitment to the open publication of our research findings and recommendations, disclosure of the source of funding of published research, and policies to ensure intellectual independence. For more information, visit www.rand.org/about/principles.
The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.