Background: A complete understanding of the variables that influence patient satisfaction has yet to be reached. The purpose of this study was to determine whether patient-reported physical function, pain, and/or anxiety are associated with patient satisfaction in a hand and upper-extremity outpatient setting.
Methods: This is a cohort study of 1,160 adult patients presenting to an upper-extremity (non-shoulder) clinic from January 1, 2014, to December 31, 2016, who completed functional patient-reported outcome measures (PROMIS [Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System] Physical Function, PROMIS Upper Extremity, and abbreviated Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder and Hand scale [QuickDASH]) and psychological patient-reported outcome measures (PROMIS Anxiety and PROMIS Pain Interference) immediately prior to their physician encounter. After the clinic visit, included patients filled out the Press Ganey Medical Practice satisfaction survey online. Logistic regression models were used to predict overall patient satisfaction and satisfaction with the care provider among all, new, and return clinic visit types from the patient-reported functional and psychological measures, controlling for age and provider.
Results: Among all visit types, there was a significant negative association of both pain and anxiety with patient satisfaction, whereby a 10-point increase in PROMIS Pain Interference (higher self-reported pain symptomatology) was associated with a 17% decrease in the odds of overall satisfaction (odds ratio [OR], 0.83 [95% confidence interval (CI), 0.71 to 0.98]; p = 0.03), and a 10-point increase in PROMIS Anxiety (higher self-reported anxiety) was associated with a 16% decrease in the odds of satisfaction with the care provider (OR, 0.84 [95% CI, 0.72 to 0.97]; p = 0.02). A significant positive association was found between higher levels of self-reported physical function and new-patient satisfaction with their care provider (OR, 1.22 [95% CI, 1.02 to 1.47]; p = 0.03). Among return patient visits, there was a negative association with overall patient satisfaction between both pain interference (OR, 0.76 [95% CI, 0.58 to 0.98]; p = 0.04) and anxiety (OR, 0.69 [95% CI, 0.53 to 0.89]; p < 0.01).
Conclusions: In hand and upper-extremity (non-shoulder) clinic visits, pre-encounter levels of patient-reported physical function, anxiety, and pain were significantly associated with patient satisfaction with the care provided. As the U.S. health-care system increasingly utilizes satisfaction scores in payment models and in quality assessment, these associations may influence how such metrics are interpreted and are utilized.