Patient satisfaction in women's clinics versus traditional primary care clinics in the Veterans Administration

J Gen Intern Med. 2003 Mar;18(3):175-81. doi: 10.1046/j.1525-1497.2003.20512.x.


Objective: To compare patient satisfaction in women's clinics (WCs) versus traditional primary care clinics (TCs).

Design: Anonymous, cross-sectional mailed survey.

Setting: Eight Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) medical centers in 3 states.

Patients: A random sample of women stratified by site and enrollment in WC versus TC (total response rate = 61%).

Measures: Overall satisfaction and gender-specific satisfaction as measured by the Primary Care Satisfaction Survey for Women (PCSSW).

Analysis: We dichotomized the satisfaction scores (excellent versus all other), and compared excellent satisfaction in WCs versus TCs using logistic regression, controlling for demographics, health status, health care use, and location.

Results: Women enrolled in WCs were more likely than those in TCs to report excellent overall satisfaction (odds ratio, 1.42; 95% confidence interval, 1.00 to 2.02; P = .05). Multivariate models demonstrated that receipt of care in WCs was a significant positive predictor for all 5 satisfaction domains (i.e., getting care, privacy and comfort, communication, complete care, and follow-up care) with the gender-specific satisfaction instrument (PCSSW).

Conclusions: This study is the first to consistently show higher satisfaction in WCs versus TCs despite age and race differences and comparable health status. Since these WCs show better quality in terms of satisfaction, other quality indicators should be evaluated. If WCs reduce fragmentation and improve health care delivery, the model will be applicable in VA and non-VA outpatient settings.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Ambulatory Care Facilities* / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Satisfaction / statistics & numerical data*
  • United States
  • United States Department of Veterans Affairs
  • Women's Health Services* / statistics & numerical data