This paper reviews the literature on patient satisfaction in primary health care settings. Definitions and models of satisfaction are considered first. Attention is given to the conceptualization of satisfaction by investigators concerned about consumers in general as well as by researchers focusing on consumers of medical services. Research findings are discussed and used to develop a model of patient satisfaction. The measurement of patient satisfaction and the findings of empirical studies are then reviewed, including summaries of effect sizes. It is concluded that patient satisfaction information can provide a dependent measure of service quality and serves as a predictor of health-related behavior. Issues deserving further investigation and recommendations regarding research strategies are presented.