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J Rehabil Res Dev. 2007;44(2):143-52.

Effects of depression and pain severity on satisfaction in medical outpatients: analysis of the Medical Outcomes Study.

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Richard L. Roudebush VA Medical Center, Health Services Research and Development Center of Excellence on Implementing Evidence-Based Practice, 11-H, 1481 West 10th Street, Indianapolis, IN 46202, USA.


Patient satisfaction has been used as a healthcare quality indicator. We examined how depression and pain severity affected satisfaction in medical outpatients. Data from the Medical Outcomes Study were analyzed. The primary outcomes were seven satisfaction domains from the Patient Satisfaction Questionnaire. Depression was identified through a clinical interview, and pain was assessed with the 36-item Short Form Bodily Pain scale. We performed multivariate linear regression to predict satisfaction in outpatients with depression and pain. Minor and major depression were present in 23.4% and 15.0% of the sample, respectively. Pain was present in more than half the patients (50.6%). Both minor and major depression as well as pain severity were strongly associated with lower satisfaction scores. Increased age and diagnosis of heart failure predicted higher satisfaction scores. Depression and pain have a substantial effect on patient satisfaction. Future studies should assess the reasons for dissatisfaction with care in patients with depression and pain.

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