Association between surgical patient satisfaction and nonmodifiable factors

Luke Martin, Angela P. Presson, Chong Zhang, David Ray, Samuel Finlayson, Robert Glasgow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Background Patient satisfaction surveys are an important tool in measuring physician performance. We hypothesized that nonmodifiable factors would be associated with surgical outpatient satisfaction scores. Methods Press Ganey Consumer Assessment of Health Providers and Systems outpatient satisfaction scores from completed surveys (18,373) at an academic department of surgery were reviewed. Data were collected on patient factors, provider specialty, practice setting, and first visit status. Patients were divided into groups based on satisfaction scores—completely satisfied (score = 100) or less satisfied (score ≤99). Generalized estimating equation logistic regression analysis was performed to identify factors predictive of patient satisfaction. Results Patients less likely to be completely satisfied were younger (odds ratio [OR] 0.54; confidence interval [CI] 0.43-0.69, P < 0.001 for 18-29 y versus >80 y) and were more likely to be seeing their surgeon for the first time (OR 0.84; CI 0.78-0.89, P < 0.001 for first versus return patients). Compared with patients seen at hospital subspecialty clinics, patients were more likely to be satisfied if seen at a cancer center clinic (OR 1.22; CI 1.13-1.32, P < 0.001) or a community ambulatory clinic (OR 1.30; CI 1.18-1.43, P < 0.001). There was no difference in satisfaction among patients seen in General Surgery, Plastic Surgery, or Otolaryngology Clinics. Patients were less likely to be satisfied when seen in Urology (OR 0.82; CI 0.75-0.91, P < 0.001) and Vascular Surgery (OR 0.75; CI 0.62-0.92, P = 0.006) clinics compared with General Surgery Clinics. Conclusions Using satisfaction scores to evaluate providers should take into account nonmodifiable factors of the underlying patient population, the specialty of the provider, and the practice setting of the visit.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)247-253
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Surgical Research
StatePublished - Jun 15 2017
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The statistical section was supported by the University of Utah Study Design and Biostatistics Center, with funding in part from the National Center for Research Resources and the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, National Institutes of Health, through Grant 5UL1TR001067-02 (formerly 8UL1TR000105 and UL1RR025764).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Elsevier Inc.


  • Patient centered care
  • Patient experience
  • Patient satisfaction
  • Physician performance
  • Quality of care
  • Satisfaction scores


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