(Can’t Get No) Patient Satisfaction: The Predictive Power of Demographic, GI, and Psychological Factors in IBS Patients

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The goal of this study is to assess: (1) the relative contribution of patient factors to satisfaction ratings in irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) patients and (2) the relationship between patient satisfaction (PS) and the number of diagnostic tests patients underwent prior to receiving IBS diagnosis.


Although PS is regarded as an important indicator of quality of care, little is known about its determinants.


A total of 448 Rome III-diagnosed patients (M age=41 y; 79% F), whose GI symptoms were at least moderate in severity completed patient-reported outcome measures as part of pretreatment evaluation of an NIH-funded clinical trial. PS was measured with the 11-point Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems global rating scale modified to assess for IBS treatments. A series of multiple regression analyses were conducted for demographic, IBS-specific, general physical health, and psychological predictors before running a final model of significant predictors from each domain.


The final regression model was significant, F6,419=6.34, P<0.001, R2=0.08, with race, insurance, number of diagnostic tests, and lower neuroticism predicting PS. Medical tests were rendered nonsignificant when history of seeking care from a gastroenterologist was introduced into the equation.


Contrary to hypotheses, neither the IBS symptom severity nor quality of life impairment predicted PS. Patient factors such as a neurotic personality style and sociodemographic profile had a significant but modest impact on PS. Pattern of regression analyses suggests that patients may turn to their gastroenterologist for testing for reassurance, which may in the long-term fuel demand for more testing.

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