Patient Satisfaction

Reference:Abtahi AM et al Association between patient-reported measures of psychological distress and patient satisfaction scores after spine surgery. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 2015 May 20;97(10):824-8.

We naturally want our patients to be 100% satisfied with the care we provide them. However, sometimes after really giving them your all, they still leave unsatisfied.

Previous studies have shown that patient satisfaction is not necessarily associated with treatment success and the elimination of pain, but more associated with just how much the patient likes you as a person.

This retrospective study demonstrated that patient satisfaction after spinal surgery was associated with the patients’ psychological status. It appears that emotional distress and depression influence patients’ perception of the medical care provided to them.

Clinical Relevance: If a patient is dissatisfied with your care, don’t always take it personally. It may not be you; it may be them.

Personal Comment: I’ve had patients whom I’ve “cured” in one session and thought they would love me …and yet I don’t hear from them ever again. I’ve also had patients where I’ve failed to provide them with symptomatic relief, yet they were very satisfied with me and have referred dozens of other patients to me.

In my humble opinion, patient satisfaction has everything to do with our ability to build rapport with the patient and practically nothing to do with the actual treatment provided. Your manual or needling skills, your knowledge of biomechanics, your newest beeping gadget are all irrelevant!

I find it crazy that some clinic owners hire PTs based on their level of manual therapy training. Meanwhile communication skills and the ability of the PT to build rapport are so much more relevant for both patient satisfaction and patient outcomes.

Posted on: July 03, 2015


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