Satisfaction with care among low-income female outpatients
Patient satisfaction correlates with important health behaviors and outcomes. Little is known about satisfaction in disadvantaged populations of different racial/ethnic backgrounds. The current study evaluated demographic and psychological correlates of patient satisfaction among a low-income, multiethnic sample of female outpatients attending cervical cancer screening. Participants included 338 African American, Latina, and white women ages 18 - 49 years attending University of Texas Medical Branch Regional Maternal & Child Health Clinics. Data were obtained via self-report and chart review. Patient satisfaction was assessed using the Patient Satisfaction Questionnaire (PSQ). Total PSQ scores reflected two distinct underlying subscales (satisfaction and dissatisfaction), which differed from the original factor structure of the PSQ. Satisfaction was predicted by patient beliefs that their health is self-determined, beliefs that doctors control their health, self-esteem, and education. Dissatisfaction was predicted by patient beliefs that good health is a matter of chance/luck, self-esteem, social desirability, and income. Higher self-esteem, education, and beliefs that health is controlled by oneself or doctors correlated with higher satisfaction with care in the clinic setting. Understanding the influence of patient characteristics on perceptions of care is important for physicians to foster relationships with patients that increase feelings of satisfaction, decrease dissatisfaction, and ultimately, improve health outcomes.
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