The correspondence of patient satisfaction and nurse burnout

Soc Sci Med. 1998 Nov;47(10):1611-7. doi: 10.1016/s0277-9536(98)00207-x.


This study examined the relationships of nurse burnout, intention to quit, and meaningfulness of work as assessed on a staff survey with patient satisfaction with nursing care, physician care, information provided and coordination of care, and outcomes of the hospital stay assessed post-discharge. Sixteen inpatient units from two hospital sites formed the data base and included 605 patients and 711 nurses. Patients' perceptions of the quality of each of the four care dimensions corresponded to the relationships nurses had with their work. Patients on units where nurses found their work meaningful were more satisfied with all aspects of their hospital stay. Patients who stayed on units where nursing staff felt more exhausted or more frequently expressed the intention to quit were less satisfied with the various components of their care. Although nurse cynicism was reflected in lower patient satisfaction with interactions with nursing staff, the correlations between cynicism and other aspects of care fell below statistical significance. No significant correlations were found between nurse professional efficacy and any of the patient satisfaction components measured. The implications of the relationship between patient satisfaction and nurses' perception of their work is discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Burnout, Professional*
  • Canada
  • Child
  • Female
  • Hospitalization
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nurse-Patient Relations
  • Nursing Staff, Hospital / psychology*
  • Patient Satisfaction*