The effects of doctor-patient communication on satisfaction and outcome of care

F. Ross Woolley, Robert L. Kane, Charles C. Hughes, Diana D. Wright

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

202 Scopus citations


From data on a series of 1761 episodes of acute primary care, the chain of relationships between patient expectation, doctor-patient communication, compliance, outcomes of care and satisfaction was examined. Overall few meaningful correlations were found. There was a strong positive relationship between patient satisfaction and functional outcome. Nonetheless, 65% of those patients who failed to regain their usual functional status professed satisfaction with the outcome of their care. Using discriminate analysis, we could predict satisfaction with outcome best by the actual outcome and satisfaction with care. Patient satisfaction with care was in turn best predicted from four variables: satisfaction with outcome, the continuity of care, patient expectation and doctor-patient communication. Implications of both positive and negative findings are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)123-128
Number of pages6
JournalSocial Science and Medicine. Part A Medical Psychology and Medical
Issue numberC
StatePublished - 1978

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
l Work for this study was supported by Public Health Service Award No. 1 R01 HSO 1596, “Quality Assessment Methods in Primary Care”. Requests for reprints should be addressed to Dr. F. Ross Woolley. Department of Family and Community Medicine, University of Utah College of Medicine. 50 North Medical Drive. Salt Lake City, UT 84132. U.S.A.


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