Original Articles

Journal of General Internal Medicine

, Volume 4, Issue 1, pp 14-22

First online:

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

  • Dale A. MatthewsAffiliated withDepartment of Medicine, University of Connecticut School of Medicine
  • , Alvan R. FeinsteinAffiliated withClinical Epidemiology Unit and the Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Program, Yale University School of MedicineBiostatistician, Cooperative Studies Program Coordinating Center, Veterans Administration Medical Center

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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.

Key words

physicians patients consumer satisfaction physician-patient relations