Environmental Variables That Influence Patient Satisfaction: A Review of the Literature

HERD. 2016 Oct;10(1):155-69. doi: 10.1177/1937586716660825. Epub 2016 Aug 3.


Patient's perception of care-referred to as patient satisfaction-is of great interest in the healthcare industry, as it becomes more directly tied to the revenue of the health system providers. The perception of care has now become important in addition to the actual health outcome of the patient. The known influencers for the patient perception of care are the patient's own characteristics as well as the quality of service received. In patient surveys, the physical environment is noted as important for being clean and quiet but is not considered a critical part of patient satisfaction or other health outcomes. Patient perception of care is currently measured as patient satisfaction, a systematic collection of perceptions of social interactions from an individual person as well as their interaction with the environment. This exploration of the literature intends to explore the rigorous, statistically tested research conducted that has a spatial predictor variable and a health or behavior outcome, with the intent to begin to further test the relationships of these variables in the future studies. This literature review uses the patient satisfaction framework of components of influence and identifies at least 10 known spatial environmental variables that have been shown to have a direct connection to the health and behavior outcome of a patient. The results show that there are certain features of the spatial layout and environmental design in hospital or work settings that influence outcomes and should be noted in the future research.

Keywords: environment; health; outcomes; patient; physical; satisfaction.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Health Facility Environment*
  • Hospital Design and Construction
  • Hospitals
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations
  • Patient Satisfaction*
  • Patients / psychology*
  • Workforce