Objectives: Patient satisfaction with treatment has been extensively researched in a variety of medical patients. However, satisfaction with treatment of chronic pain has received considerably less attention. The present study sought to identify the predictors of patient satisfaction with treatment of chronic pain. In addition, the relationship between patient satisfaction and compliance with treatment recommendations was explored.
Methods: One hundred eighty patients (84 men and 96 women) seeking treatment of chronic pain at University of Florida pain clinics were recruited for this telephone follow-up study.
Results: Satisfaction ratings were generally high, with ratings of satisfaction with care significantly higher (t179=9.58, P<0.001) than ratings of satisfaction with improvement. Aspects of the patient-provider interaction, pain relief, and anxiety at treatment onset predicted satisfaction with care. These same variables, with the exception of anxiety, also predicted satisfaction with improvement. Those patients who were more satisfied with their improvement were also more compliant with treatment recommendations, and this relationship was stronger for health care provider-rated compliance.
Discussion: Results suggest the importance of distinguishing between satisfaction with care and satisfaction with improvement in assessments. Satisfaction with treatment of chronic pain is not merely a matter of pain relief. To increase the probability of treatment success and satisfaction, attention to the interpersonal aspects of the health care provider-patient relationship appear critical. Explanations for satisfaction's stronger relationship to health care provider-rated compliance were discussed.