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Health Qual Life Outcomes. 2007 Nov 24;5:62.

Correlates of patient satisfaction with physician visit: differences between elderly and non-elderly survey respondents.

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  • 1Department of Pharmacy Practice and Administration, Ohio State University College of Pharmacy, Columbus, Ohio, USA.



Few studies document differences in patient satisfaction with physicians in the elderly (> or = 65 years) and compare it to non-elderly (<65 years) patients.


A cross-sectional survey study on a convenience sample of 20,901 patients rated their recent visit to a physician through a web-based survey. Survey included validated questions based on aspects of physician care practice such as "friendliness", wait times and time spent with doctor. These scales were then used to measure patient satisfaction with physician. Statistical analysis involved pair-matching of non-elderly patients with elderly patients (both cohorts, n = 507 each) using propensity scores.


Even though elderly and non-elderly patients had similar waiting times, elderly patients gave higher physician satisfaction scores than non-elderly patients (all p < 0.05). When predictors of physician satisfaction ratings were examined, shorter waiting time was more significantly associated with better treatment satisfaction in non-elderly patients (partial rho = -0.25 in the non-elderly compared to partial rho = -0.11 in elderly, p < 0.05). Increased time spent with the physician was more significantly correlated with higher physician satisfaction ratings in the non-elderly patients (partial rho = 0.38 in the non-elderly compared to partial rho = 0.18, p < 0.001).


Increased patient satisfaction ratings of the non-elderly were associated more strongly with shorter waiting times than in the elderly. However overall, elderly patients reported similar waiting times and better physician satisfaction scores. Similarly, higher physician satisfaction in non-elderly patients were more strongly associated with increased time spent with physician than in the elderly patients.

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