Perceptions of care quality and the effect on patient satisfaction

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This research models the impact of patient perceptions of care quality on overall patient satisfaction in a rural healthcare organization over a three-year time period. Its purpose is to determine if the factors that influence perceptions of service quality change over time and if the change affects overall patient satisfaction.


Data was collected for three fiscal years (2012 –2014) using a 36-question, Likert-scaled attitudinal survey. Multiple regression analysis was performed to identify which constructs of five different service quality dimensions were statistically significant in predicting overall patient satisfaction. Paired comparison of means and ANOVA F-tests highlighted significant differences across years and demographics.


Multiple regression models of overall patient satisfaction over a three-year time period had significant repeat variables, indicating salience of the dimensions and constructs of service quality that predict patient satisfaction. However, some dimensions of service quality did not remain significant from one year to another, indicating there may be a gap in the patient service cycle over an extended time frame.


This paper explored the sequential relationship between patient satisfaction survey data and perceptions of service quality over a multi-year time frame. The research focused on outpatient medical clinics, while the majority of previous studies have focused on acute care or inpatient stays. A longitudinal study is especially relevant for outpatient clinics where continuity of care is important.

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© 2016 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. Publisher’s version of record: http://www.emeraldinsight.com/doi/abs/10.1108/IJQRM-08-2015-0121

Publication Title

International Journal of Quality and Reliability Management