Dissatisfaction with medical services among medicare beneficiaries with disabilities

Amitabh Jha, Donald L. Patrick, Richard F. MacLehose, Jason N. Doctor, Leighton Chan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Scopus citations


Objective: To test the hypothesis that Medicare beneficiaries who have difficulties performing activities of daily living (ADLs) are more likely to report dissatisfaction with their health care than those without ADL difficulties. Design: Cross-sectional study. Setting: Sample from the 1998 Medicare Current Beneficiaries Survey. Participants: A population-based sample (N=19, 650) of noninstitutionalized Medicare beneficiaries. Interventions: Not applicable. Main Outcome Measures: Satisfaction with overall quality and 9 specific aspects of medical services received in the last year. Results: After adjusting for sociodemographic, behavioral, and system characteristics and compared with those without ADL difficulties, Medicare enrollees were more likely to report dissatisfaction with the overall quality of their health care as their number of activity restrictions increased (1-2 ADLs: odds ratio [OR]=1.5; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.2-2.0; 3-4 ADLs: OR=1.7; 95% CI, 1.2-2.4; 5-6 ADLs: OR=1.9; 95% CI, 1.4-2.8). Analysis of satisfaction with the 9 specific aspects of care yielded similar results. Conclusion: Disability is a significant independent risk factor for dissatisfaction with health care in the Medicare population. Efforts should be made to identify individuals with ADL difficulties and to improve their ease and convenience of getting to a doctor, the availability of care off hours, the access to specialists, and the follow-up care received.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1335-1341
Number of pages7
JournalArchives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2002


  • Activities of daily living
  • Disabled persons
  • Medicare
  • Patient satisfaction
  • Rehabilitation
  • Survey


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