The relationship between patients' satisfaction with their physicians and perceptions about interventions they desired and received

Med Care. 1989 Nov;27(11):1027-35. doi: 10.1097/00005650-198911000-00004.


This study was designed to determine the relationship between patients' satisfaction with their physician, the types of interventions that patients reported they received, and the congruence between those interventions and the types of interventions they desired. One hundred eighteen symptomatic adult primary-care patients completed questionnaires before and after their respective medical visits. Patients who indicated they received any one of the three nontechnical interventions: education (P less than 0.001), stress counseling (P less than 0.05), and negotiation (P less than 0.01), were significantly more satisfied than those who had not received these interventions. Patient perceptions about receiving technical interventions, i.e., examination, tests, medications, and nondrug therapy, were not related to patient satisfaction. The congruence between patient-intervention desires and perceptions about interventions received generally were not significantly related to satisfaction except for the interaction between receiving a medication and postvisit-medication desires (P less than 0.001). A series of multiple regression analyses revealed that, in general, perceptions about nontechnical interventions were better predictors of patient satisfaction than perceptions about technical interventions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Consumer Behavior / statistics & numerical data*
  • Counseling
  • Diagnostic Services
  • Drug Therapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Patient Education as Topic
  • Perception*
  • Physical Examination
  • Physician-Patient Relations*
  • Primary Health Care / standards*
  • Regression Analysis
  • Stress, Psychological
  • United States