The effect of changes in servicescape and service quality perceptions in a maternity unit

Int J Health Care Qual Assur. 2011;24(5):389-405. doi: 10.1108/09526861111139205.


Purpose: The aim of this research is to determine the effect of changes in servicescape on the service quality perceptions of maternity ward patients in a private hospital.

Design/methodology/approach: A quasi-experimental design was used. An experimental and control group (of patients) was surveyed before the changes in servicescape took place, and a further experimental and control group of patients was surveyed after changes in the servicescape. Each group was surveyed using a SERVPERF instrument to determine perceptions of service quality.

Findings: The changes in servicescape which took place in the experimental context resulted in a significant change in service quality perceptions among the experimental group. This change was not seen in all service quality dimensions, however, with statistical significance seen only in the tangible, reliability and responsiveness dimensions.

Research limitations/implications: Four different groups of respondents took part in the quasi-experiment (two experimental groups and two control groups) specifically in a medical setting, and the ability to generalise these findings needs to be investigated.

Practical implications: Management needs to take greater notice of the effect of servicescape, as well as any changes in the servicescape on the perceptions of service quality.

Originality/value: There is agreement that the servicescape affects perceptions of service quality and this study bears out this conclusion.

MeSH terms

  • Cesarean Section
  • Environment
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology Department, Hospital / organization & administration*
  • Patient Satisfaction*
  • Perception*
  • Quality of Health Care / organization & administration*
  • Research Design