Patient-reported outcome measures: the importance of patient satisfaction in surgery

Surgery. 2009 Sep;146(3):435-43. doi: 10.1016/j.surg.2009.03.019. Epub 2009 May 28.


In recent years, much attention has been paid to the assessment of the quality of health care. This focus has been driven mainly by a desire to improve health care and decrease inequalities within health care systems. As well as addressing key areas such as structure, process, and outcome, which are normally taken from the provider's viewpoint, it is also necessary to address the patient's perspective. Patient-reported outcomes are an increasingly popular method of assessing the patient's experience within the health care system. Along with well-known patient reported outcomes such as health-related quality of life and current health state, patient satisfaction can provide an ultimate end point to health care quality. It is thus an essential part of quality assessment. The concept of patient satisfaction and its measurement, however, has often been overlooked by researchers. Therefore, current measures of satisfaction may not be adequate to assess quality of health care. This article aims to provide an overview of the concept of patient satisfaction. It also discusses current methods of patient-reported outcome assessment and suggests methodology to create new instruments to measure patient satisfaction.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Data Collection
  • Humans
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care / methods
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care / statistics & numerical data
  • Patient Satisfaction* / statistics & numerical data
  • Quality of Health Care
  • Quality of Life
  • Surgical Procedures, Operative*