Patient satisfaction: How patient health conditions influence their satisfaction

Koichiro Otani, Brian Waterman, W. Claiborne Dunagan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


With increasing emphasis in healthcare on patient satisfaction, many patient satisfaction studies have been administered. Most assume that all patients combine their healthcare experiences (such as nursing care, physician care, etc.) in the same way to arrive at their satisfaction; however, no research has been conducted prior to the present study to investigate how patients' health conditions influence the way they combine their healthcare experiences. This study aims to determine how seriously ill patients differ from less seriously ill patients during their combining process. Data were collected from five large hospitals in the St. Louis area by administering a patient satisfaction questionnaire. Multiple linear regression analyses with a scatter term, a severity measure, and interaction effects of the severity measure were conducted while controlling for age, gender, and race. Two models (overall quality of care and willingness to recommend to others) were analyzed, and the severity of illness variable revealed interaction effects with physician care, staff care, food, and scatter term variables in the willingness to recommend model (six attributes were analyzed: admission process, nursing care, physician care, staff care, food, and room). With more seriously ill patients, physician care becomes more important and staff care becomes less important, and seriously ill patients are proportionately more likely to combine their attribute reactions only in the willingness to recommend model. All six attributes are not equally influential. Nursing care and staff care show consistent influence in both models. These findings show that if healthcare managers want to increase their patient satisfaction, they should enhance nursing care and staff care first to experience the most improvement.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)276-292
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Healthcare Management
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1 2012


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