Patient satisfaction as an indicator of quality care

Inquiry. 1988 Spring;25(1):25-36.


In this review of the theoretical and empirical work on patient satisfaction with care, the most consistent finding is that the characteristics of providers or organizations that result in more "personal" care are associated with higher levels of satisfaction. Some studies suggest that more personal care will result in better communication and more patient involvement, and hence better quality of care, but the data on these issues are weak and inconsistent. Further research is needed to measure specific aspects of medical care and the ways in which patient reports can complement other sources of information about quality. In addition, more research on the determinants of satisfaction and the relationship between quality and satisfaction among hospitalized patients is recommended.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Attitude
  • Consumer Behavior*
  • Continuity of Patient Care
  • Demography
  • Humans
  • Outcome and Process Assessment, Health Care
  • Quality Assurance, Health Care
  • Quality of Health Care*
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • United States