Patient satisfaction--an attribute or indicator of the quality of care?

QRB Qual Rev Bull. 1987 Mar;13(3):106-8. doi: 10.1016/s0097-5990(16)30116-6.


Systematic measurement of patient satisfaction is seldom included in routine quality assurance (QA) programs. Practical reasons have been given to explain this omission: the mental and physical state of patients, their lack of the necessary scientific and technical knowledge, the rapid pace of events of care, and methodological problems related to measuring patient satisfaction. However, a strong case can be made to include patient satisfaction in QA, including ethical considerations, philosophical changes occurring in the health care field, and a clear definition of the impact of patient satisfaction on quality care. This article concludes that patient satisfaction is part and parcel of quality health care; that patients are capable of assessing the quality of care; and that patient satisfaction can be measured.

MeSH terms

  • Consumer Behavior*
  • Ethics, Professional
  • Philosophy, Medical
  • Quality Assurance, Health Care
  • Quality of Health Care*
  • World Health Organization