Objective: To explore the relationships between patients' satisfaction and (1) the level of pharmaceutical care services received, (2) patients' perceptions of the personal attention paid to them by the pharmacist, and (3) patients' perceptions of the pharmacist's ability to help them manage their asthma and prevent asthma-related problems.
Design: Exploratory study using mail or telephone survey methods.
Patients or other participants: Asthma patients (n = 250) enrolled in one of two Florida managed care organizations.
Main outcome measures: Predictor variables were level of pharmaceutical care and patients' perceptions of personal attention and their pharmacist's ability to help them control their asthma. Outcome variable was patients' overall satisfaction with the care they received from their pharmacist.
Results: The direct causal effects of level of care (standardized regression coefficient, beta = 0.07) and patients' perception of pharmacists' ability to help (beta = 0.01) on satisfaction were nonsignificant. Only personal attention had a significant direct path coefficient to patient satisfaction (beta = 0.63). Although the level of care was associated with patient satisfaction (r = 0.32), its direct effect was not significant because of its joint association (r = 0.27) with personal attention. Patients' satisfaction was associated with the level of pharmaceutical care and their perception of the pharmacist's ability to help them with their asthma. However, personal attention from the pharmacist was most influential.
Conclusion: Patients may be less able to judge the technical quality of the care they receive, but they do judge their social interaction with the pharmacist. Pharmacy professionals must increase patients' awareness of the value of pharmaceutical care services and make it important to their judgment of satisfaction.