Professional satisfaction and client outcomes. A comparative organizational analysis

Med Care. 1985 Oct;23(10):1179-92. doi: 10.1097/00005650-198510000-00007.


In studies of the effectiveness of health care organizations, the job satisfaction level of professional staff is often viewed as an "outcome," since providing a climate that satisfies participants' needs is one aspect of organizational effectiveness. Staff satisfaction, however, has not been linked with outcomes associated with clients. In this article, the authors examine the relationship between the aggregate job satisfaction level of nursing staff in 77 family planning clinics and two client outcomes: the aggregate satisfaction level of teenage clients with contraceptive services obtained in the clinic, and the subsequent rate of client compliance with contraceptive prescriptions. Among the variables studied in testing an organizational-level model, it is found that the job satisfaction level of nursing staff is the strongest determinant of the aggregate satisfaction level of clients; client satisfaction level, in turn, predicts the rate of clients' subsequent contraceptive compliance. Staff satisfaction has a noteworthy indirect effect on compliance through client satisfaction. Compliance, however, appears to be more susceptible to variations in clinic structure than to variations in staff satisfaction levels. Implications of these findings for studies of effectiveness of health services and for management of health care organizations are discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Community Health Centers / organization & administration
  • Consumer Behavior*
  • Contraception*
  • Family Planning Services
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Job Satisfaction*
  • Maryland
  • Middle Aged
  • Nursing Staff / psychology*
  • Patient Compliance