Patient satisfaction with obstetricians and gynecologists compared with other specialties: analysis of US self-reported survey data

Patient Relat Outcome Meas. 2011 Jul;2:21-6. doi: 10.2147/PROM.S15747. Epub 2011 Jan 14.


Background: Few studies in the US have evaluated patient satisfaction with physicians across different specialties. We examined patient satisfaction and attitudes toward physicians during outpatient visits in the health care system, including obstetricians and gynecologists and other specialty physicians.

Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional and national Web-based survey among anonymous patients who rated their physicians according to satisfaction with treatment on the basis of their experience during their most recent outpatient visits. The survey was user-friendly, validated, and helped patients identify their physicians according to specialty and rate them on a scale of 0 ("not at all satisfied") to 10 ("extremely satisfied"). The patient satisfaction in obstetricians and gynecologists and other specialists were assessed using logistic regression analysis.

Results: A total of 7938 patients who rated physicians belonging to the categories of obstetricians and gynecologists (n = 1903) and other specialties (n = 6035) were included in the study. Other things being equal, the odds of earning a satisfaction rating were almost 55% higher for visits to obstetricians and gynecologists than for other specialties (odds ratio [OR] 1.55 [1.15, 2.09], P < 0.01). Also, other things being equal, compared with other specialists, the odds of patient satisfaction due to the caring and friendly attitude of a physician were three times higher for obstetricians and gynecologists, with a logit coefficient of 1.28 (OR, 3.59 [3.17, 4.07], P < 0.001).

Conclusion: Patient satisfaction ratings associated with caring and friendly attitude were higher for obstetricians and gynecologists compared to other specialists. Even though several factors influence patient satisfaction, adoption of factors like reducing waiting times, effective patient-physician communication, and involving patients in the decision-making process might aid physicians in achieving optimal results.

Keywords: attitudes; patient satisfaction; specially physicians.