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Am J Health Syst Pharm. 1997 Dec 1;54(23):2721-32; quiz 2741-3.

Measuring patient satisfaction with pharmaceutical services.

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  • 1Division of Pharmacy Practice and Administration, College of Pharmacy, Ohio State University (OSU), Columbus 43210, USA.


Common conceptualizations of satisfaction are discussed, and different ways of measuring patient satisfaction with pharmaceutical services are suggested. Patient satisfaction is becoming increasingly popular as an indicator of the quality of health care services, including pharmaceutical services. Satisfaction can be conceptualized as a performance evaluation, disconfirmation of expectations, an affect-based assessment, or an equity-based assessment. A satisfaction measure should have a theoretical base on which the measure's validity can be assessed. The measure chosen must fit the context of an overall research process, and the researcher must have a clear idea of what is to be measured. A large pool of items, or questions, for potential inclusion in a patient-satisfaction questionnaire can then be generated. The researcher should develop a format for each item (e.g., Likert scale). The items should be reviewed by experts for relevance and completeness. Questions that will help validate other questions should be included. To assess reliability and validity, the questionnaire should be given to a representative sample of respondents before being refined into its final format. Finally, the researcher must ensure that the patient-satisfaction questionnaire is practical (e.g., in terms of length and complexity). No single standard measure of patient satisfaction is applicable to all pharmacy situations. Researchers should either use an existing measure with demonstrated reliability and validity or develop a new measure by using a systematic process.

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