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Soc Sci Med. 1988;27(9):935-9.

What patients like about their medical care and how often they are asked: a meta-analysis of the satisfaction literature.

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  • 1Institute for Health Research, Harvard University, Boston, MA 02115.


A meta-analysis of studies on consumer satisfaction with medical care yielded 221 studies that reported relations between satisfaction and other variables, of which 107 reported satisfaction levels for two or more aspects of medical care. A method was developed to derive the relative levels of patient satisfaction with 11 aspects of care across these 107 studies. Humaneness and technical quality of medical care were ranked near the top, while the bottom five ranks were occupied by aspects of care that reflected the provider's attention to other patient needs and the patient's relation to the system as a whole. In addition, it was demonstrated that different aspects of medical care are measured with extremely uneven frequencies in satisfaction instruments.

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