Patient sociodemographic characteristics as predictors of satisfaction with medical care: a meta-analysis

Soc Sci Med. 1990;30(7):811-8. doi: 10.1016/0277-9536(90)90205-7.


A meta-analysis was performed to examine the relation of patients' sociodemographic characteristics to their satisfaction with medical care. The sociodemographic characteristics were age, ethnicity, sex, socioeconomic status (three indices), marital status, and family size. Greater satisfaction was significantly associated with greater age and less education, and marginally significantly associated with being married and having higher social status (scored as a composite variable emphasizing occupational status). The average magnitudes of relations were very small, with age being the strongest correlate of satisfaction (mean r = 0.13). No overall relationship was found for ethnicity, sex, income, or family size. For all sociodemographic variables, the distribution of correlations was significantly heterogeneous, and statistical contrasts revealed the operation of several moderating variables. The meaning of the overall results and their relation to earlier reviews is discussed.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Attitude to Health
  • Causality
  • Consumer Behavior*
  • Educational Status
  • Female
  • Health Services*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Marriage
  • Meta-Analysis as Topic
  • Sex Factors
  • Social Class
  • Socioeconomic Factors