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Cancer. 1990 Jan 1;65(1):186-92.

Physician behaviors, patient perceptions, and patient characteristics as predictors of satisfaction of hospitalized adult cancer patients.

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Division of Medical Oncology, Albany Medical College, New York 12222.


To examine potential predictors of cancer patient satisfaction with physician behavior, 366 cases were studied. Physician behavior was measured on morning rounds using the Physician Behavior Check List (PBCL). Patient satisfaction and perceptions were assessed after the visit. Patient characteristics were obtained from the chart and the physician. Results showed wide variation in physician behavior; no "standard" set of behaviors was seen in all interactions. Patient satisfaction was high (mean = 87.8 mm on a 100-mm scale). Path analysis showed four variables predicted 62% of the variance in patient satisfaction. The strongest predictor was the patient perception item, "perception of needs addressed that day." Other predictors were perception of emotional support provided by the physician, age (older), and one physician behavior, "discusses treatment." Patient perceptions of needs met or emotional support provided were predicted by perceptions of the occurrence of physician behaviors involving information such as the diagnosis and tests and treatment. Overall, patient perceptions of physician behaviors were stronger predictors of patient satisfaction than the actual occurrence or absence of those behaviors.

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