Is the job satisfaction of primary care team members associated with patient satisfaction?

BMJ Qual Saf. 2011 Jun;20(6):508-14. doi: 10.1136/bmjqs.2009.038166. Epub 2011 Jan 24.


BACKGROUND Previous research has shown a correlation between physician job satisfaction and patient satisfaction with quality of care, but the connection between job satisfaction of other primary care team members and patient satisfaction is yet unclear. OBJECTIVE To evaluate whether there is an association between patient satisfaction and job satisfaction of the members of patient care teams. DESIGN The study was based on data from the European Practice Assessment and used an observational design. SETTING 676 primary care practices in Germany. PARTICIPANTS 47 168 patients, 676 general practitioners (practice principals), 305 physician colleagues (trainees and permanently employed physicians) and 3011 non-physician practice members (nurses, secretaries). MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES Patient evaluation was measured using the 23-item EUROPEP questionnaire. Job satisfaction was measured using the 10-item Warr-Cook-Wall job satisfaction scale and further items relating to practice structure. Bivariate correlations were applied in which factors of patient satisfaction and practice structure were compared with physicians and non-physicians satisfaction. RESULTS Patient satisfaction correlates positively with the general job satisfaction of the non-physician (r=0.25, p<0.01) and no significant correlation was found for the general job satisfaction of practice principals and physician colleagues. Patients' satisfaction with the practice organisation correlates positively with the general job satisfaction of the non-physicians (r=0.30, p<0.01) and their view of practice structure (r=0.29, p<0.01). CONCLUSIONS The correlation between non-physician team member satisfaction and patient satisfaction was higher than the correlation between satisfaction of physicians and patients. Patients seem to be sensitive to aspects of practice structure.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Female
  • Germany
  • Humans
  • Job Satisfaction*
  • Male
  • Medical Secretaries / psychology
  • Middle Aged
  • Nursing Staff / psychology
  • Patient Care Team*
  • Patient Satisfaction / statistics & numerical data*
  • Physicians, Primary Care / psychology
  • Primary Health Care*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Workload