, Volume 4, Issue 1, pp 14-22

A new instrument for patients’ ratings of physician performance in the hospital setting

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A new instrument to elicit patients’ appraisals of physician performance has been developed from a previously-derived taxonomy of desired physician attitudes and behavior. The instrument allows patients to give ratings for their physicians’ discrete, observable items of behavior, and also for complex, multidimensional attributes. When the instrument was administered to 131 randomly chosen medical inpatients, the results showed that technical competence and interpersonal (or humanistic) qualities were equally valued, and that physicians received high ratings for most features of performance. Except for less satisfaction in younger patients, clinical and demographic characteristics had little impact on the ratings. The performance characteristics of the instrument appear satisfactory, and its potential applications and proposals for further research are discussed.

Supported in part by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Grant #6309 and a Grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
The opinions, conclusions, and proposals in the text are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of either Foundation.