April 2nd, 2015 , Spine (Phila Pa 1976)

What Patient Characteristics could Potentially affect Patient Satisfaction Scores during Spine Clinic?


Prospective studyObjective. Assess which patient factors are associated with patient satisfaction scores in the outpatient spineclinic settingSummary of Background Data. Patient satisfaction has become an important component of quality assessments, and thereby pay-for-performance metrics, made by government, hospitals, and insurance providers.


Over a 7-month period, 200 patients were contacted via phone within 3 weeks of a new patient encounter with one of 11 spine providers. A standardized patient satisfaction phone survey consisting of 25 questions, answered using a 1-10 scale, was then administered. Patientdemographics, medical/social history, and previous treatment were prospectively recorded. Potential associations between these patient factors and three outcomes of interest were investigated: 1) provider satisfaction, 2) overall clinic visit satisfaction, and 3) overall quality of care during clinic visit.


Younger age, less formal education, and smoking were associated with diminished provider satisfaction, overall clinic visit satisfaction, and perceived overall quality of care (p≤0.0001). Male patients were significantly less satisfied with their clinic visit compared to females (p = 0.029). Those treated under a worker’s compensation claim were significantly less satisfied with their provider and overall quality of care (p≤0.02). Marital status, working status, mental health history, travel distance, pain characteristics, previous treatments, and current narcotic use were not significant determinants of patient satisfaction (p>0.05).


This study found that those patients who were younger, with less formal education, and active smokers had lower patient satisfactionscores. As patient satisfaction is increasingly being utilized in assessments of quality of care, it is essential that these factors be considered when evaluating a given provider’s practice. This information is important to providers by helping guide individualized patient interactions while in clinic, as well as, the various agencies collecting satisfaction scores allowing them to account for potential sampling bias.