Understanding patient satisfaction, trust, and loyalty to primary care physicians

Med Care Res Rev. 2008 Dec;65(6):696-712. doi: 10.1177/1077558708322863. Epub 2008 Aug 21.


The authors developed and empirically tested a model reflecting a system of interrelations among patient loyalty, trust, and satisfaction as they are related to patients' intentions to stay with a primary care physician (PCP) and recommend the doctor to other people. They used a structural equation modeling approach. The fit statistics indicate a well-fitting model: root mean square error of approximation = .022, goodness-of-fit index = .99, adjusted goodness-of-fit index = .96, and comparative fit index = 1.00. The authors found that patient trust and good interpersonal relationships with the PCP are major predictors of patient satisfaction and loyalty to the physician. Patients need to trust the PCP to be satisfied and loyal to the physician. The authors also found that patient trust, satisfaction, and loyalty are strong and significant predictors of patients' intentions to stay with the doctor and to recommend the PCP to others.

MeSH terms

  • Health Care Surveys
  • Humans
  • Models, Theoretical
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care*
  • Patient Satisfaction / statistics & numerical data*
  • Physician-Patient Relations*
  • Physicians, Family*
  • United States