The Measurement and Meaning of Patient Satisfaction

A Review of the Literature

by John E. Ware, Allyson Ross Davies, Anita Stewart


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Reviews 111 articles published between 1951 and 1976 reporting patient satisfaction with health care. The review had the following goals: (1) to define the concept of patient satisfaction and identify its major dimensions; (2) to evaluate the state of the art of measuring patient satisfaction, focusing particularly on reliability and validity of reported measures; and (3) to assess the usefulness of the patient satisfaction concept as an independent and dependent variable. The authors developed a taxonomy of patient satisfaction that defines the major characteristics of providers and services that influence patient satisfaction. This served as the basis for grouping results and as a standard to judge the comprehensiveness of a given questionnaire. The resulting taxonomy includes eight dimensions that constitute the major sources of satisfaction and dissatisfaction with care: art of care, technical quality of care, accessibility/convenience; finances, physical environment, availability, continuity, and outcomes of care.

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