Obtaining information on patient satisfaction with hospital care: mail versus telephone

Health Serv Res. 1984 Aug;19(3):291-306.


Many objectives of the study examined here were to develop a questionnaire useful in eliciting the perceptions of patients regarding their hospital care, to compare the methodologic and substantive differences between a mail survey and a telephone survey of patients done approximately a week post discharge, and to develop methods allowing the questionnaire to be administered by an organization other than the hospital. Two independent surveys were conducted at the same hospital--a telephone survey with a telephone follow-up, and a mail survey with a telephone follow-up. The study demonstrated that an organization external to the hospital can economically conduct a patient satisfaction survey of a representative patient sample while ensuring confidentiality and producing potentially useful results. The mail survey was preferred over the telephone survey due to lower cost, lower chance of biased responses, and complete assurance of confidentiality. The aspects of hospital care most influencing patient satisfaction related to nursing services.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Confidentiality
  • Consumer Behavior*
  • Data Collection / methods*
  • Hospitalization*
  • Postal Service
  • Sampling Studies
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Telephone
  • Time Factors