At a time where patients are constantly being forced to go to different health care providers each year due to their prior doctor "…not being on the list," are patients truly satisfied with the care/treatment they receive?
If so, what exactly are the reasons and factors that drive patient satisfaction with Chiropractic?
The process of measuring patient satisfaction can be viewed from several different angles.
One study looked at the improvement of the patient's condition and only 57% of the satisfaction score was based on improvement.
Because the concept of measuring satisfaction is multifactorial, more important methods of measuring patient satisfaction had to be considered.
A recent study did just this – they measured parameters that included pain, disability (activity tolerance), satisfaction with information received, effectiveness of care, caring, and quality of care.
The information was obtained by two different interviewers with similar information received regardless if it was the doctor or a third party.
THE RESULTS SHOWED ALL PATIENTS REPORTED HIGH LEVELS OF SATISFACTION AND THOUGH THE CLINICAL OUTCOMES REGARDING PAIN AND DISABILITY WERE MOST IMPORTANT, THE INFORMATION RECEIVED THAT HELPED PATIENTS UNDERSTAND WHAT WAS WRONG WITH THEM, AND, WHAT COULD BE DONE (BY BOTH DOCTOR AND PATIENT) TO SPEED RECOVERY AND PREVENT FUTURE EPISODES WERE VERY IMPORTANT FACTORS IN THE OVERALL SATISFACTION SCORE.
Patients also wanted timely information so they were kept up-to-date with what was being done at various points in time during care.
The information had to be understandable and informative and explained in "layman's terms" so that they "learned something" from the information received.
Caring included four questions:
- Does the doctor believe what the patient tells them?
- Does the doctor understand the patient's concerns?
- Was the doctor comfortable dealing with the patient's pain?
- Was the doctor concerned about the patient after they left the office?
The information gathered included treatment, doctor confidence, and prognosis (how long it might take to get better). Also, effectiveness was further divided into listening, knowledge, experience, and the use of an active management approach.
The conclusion of the study emphasizes the importance of using a mixed-method approach when examining patient satisfaction.
This includes quantitative "scores" from questionnaires as well as qualitative information about the encounter including information, caring, and effectiveness.