Objective: To better understand the determinants of adolescents' satisfaction with their health care providers and to examine the relationship among satisfaction, intention to return for follow-up, and appointment-keeping behavior.
Methods: One hundred and twenty-four adolescent patients attending a university-based general adolescent medicine clinic were surveyed prior to the visit about their attitudes regarding provider behavior. After the visit, subjects completed a questionnaire on provider behavior during the visit, satisfaction with the visit, and intention to keep their follow-up appointment.
Results: Multivariate regression analysis revealed that pre-visit attitudes about providers' style of behavior predicted satisfaction (beta = 0.252; p < 0.01). After controlling for pre-visit attitudes, perceptions about providers' style of behavior proved to be a strong predictor of visit satisfaction (beta = 0.512; p < 0.01). Visit satisfaction was associated with intention to keep scheduled follow-up appointments (r = 0.327; p < 0.01). However, subjects with greater intention to return were not more likely to keep their follow-up appointments.
Conclusion: Provider behavior is an important determinant of adolescents' satisfaction with their health care.