Brief Scale Reliably Assesses Patient Satisfaction

Article excerpt

The Charleston Psychiatric Outpatient Satisfaction Scale is a reliable and valid measure of patient satisfaction, according to Karen L. Pellegrin, Ph.D., of Discovery Alliance International in Mobile, Alabama, and her associates.

The 15-item scale was rated by 282 outpatients treated at 19 clinics of the Institute of Psychiatry The clinics include general psychiatric clinics that address a broad range of disorders as well as specialty clinics, such as treatment programs for substance abuse or eating disorders. Patients were drawn from a wide range of socioeconomic circumstances and from both genders.

The scale utilizes a 5-point Likert format ranging from excellent to poor in measures of patient opinions on such issues as helpfulness of the secretary, office hours, parking, respect shown for patient opinions, and the quantity of diagnosis-specific information provided to the patient.

The internal reliability of the scale was high. Preliminary validity of the scale was supported by the finding that scores for all items were significantly correlated with patient satisfaction with overall quality of care and patient likelihood of recommending the clinic to others, the researchers reported.

The best predictors of overall satisfaction with patient care were satisfaction with the helpfulness of services provided and satisfaction with demonstrated respect for patient opinions about treatment. The best predictors of patient program recommendation to others were satisfaction with appropriate matching of treatment plans to individual needs and satisfaction with demonstrated respect for patient opinions about treatment, the investigators said. …