Journal of General Internal Medicine

, Volume 4, Issue 1, pp 14–22

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

  • Dale A. Matthews
  • Alvan R. Feinstein
Original Articles

DOI: 10.1007/BF02596484

Cite this article as:
Matthews, D.A. & Feinstein, A.R. J Gen Intern Med (1989) 4: 14. doi:10.1007/BF02596484


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 

Copyright information

© Society of General Internal Medicine 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dale A. Matthews
    • 1
  • Alvan R. Feinstein
    • 3
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of MedicineUniversity of Connecticut School of MedicineUSA
  2. 2.Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars ProgramYale University School of MedicineNew Haven
  3. 3.Clinical Epidemiology Unit and the Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars ProgramYale University School of MedicineNew Haven
  4. 4.Biostatistician, Cooperative Studies Program Coordinating CenterVeterans Administration Medical CenterWest Haven
  5. 5.Division of General MedicineUniversity of Connecticut Health CenterFarmington

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