Factors affecting patient satisfaction and healthcare quality

Int J Health Care Qual Assur. 2009;22(4):366-81. doi: 10.1108/09526860910964834.


Purpose: The aim of this paper is to build a comprehensive conceptual model to understand and measure variables affecting patient satisfaction-based healthcare quality.

Design/methodology/approach: A total of 24 articles from international journals were systematically reviewed for factors determining patient satisfaction and healthcare quality.

Findings: Patient satisfaction is a multi-dimensional healthcare construct affected by many variables. Healthcare quality affects patient satisfaction, which in turn influences positive patient behaviours such as loyalty. Patient satisfaction and healthcare service quality, though difficult to measure, can be operationalized using a multi-disciplinary approach that combines patient inputs as well as expert judgement.

Research limitations/implications: The paper develops a conceptual model that needs to be confirmed empirically. Also, most research pertains to developed countries. Findings are presented that may not be generalized to developing nations, which may be quite different culturally.

Practical implications: The paper has direct implications for health service providers. They are encouraged to regularly monitor healthcare quality and accordingly initiate service delivery improvements to maintain high levels of patient satisfaction.

Originality/value: The paper collates and examines recent healthcare quality study findings. It presents a comprehensive, conceptual model encompassing research work and a holistic view of various aspects affecting patient satisfaction and healthcare quality. Although a large amount of healthcare quality research has been done, each studying a particular service, this paper comprehensively brings together various research findings.

MeSH terms

  • Accreditation
  • Humans
  • Models, Theoretical
  • Patient Satisfaction / statistics & numerical data*
  • Physician's Role
  • Quality of Health Care / standards*
  • Quality of Health Care / statistics & numerical data
  • Social Perception
  • Total Quality Management / statistics & numerical data*
  • United States