Patients' satisfaction of service quality in Saudi hospitals: a SERVQUAL analysis

Hussein M. Al‐Borie (The Research and Consultancy Institute, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia and Department of Health Services and Hospital Administration, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia)
Amal M. Sheikh Damanhouri (Department of Business Administration, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia)

International Journal of Health Care Quality Assurance

ISSN: 0952-6862

Publication date: 4 January 2013



Saudi Arabian hospital performance, vis‐à‐vis patient satisfaction with service provision, has emerged as a key policy and planning concern. Keeping in view public and private hospital service quality, this article seeks to provide guidelines to the on‐going Saudi Arabian health service reorganization, which emphasizes decentralization, bed‐capacity expansion, research‐based policymaking and initiatives in the health insurance sector.


The article outlines an empirical study that compares patient satisfaction with service quality in Saudi Arabian public and private sector hospitals. The authors employ a stratified random sample (1,000 inpatients) from five Saudi Arabian public and five private hospitals. Data were collected through questionnaire using the SERVQUAL scale. For reducing the language bias the questionnaire was translated into Arabic. The response rate was 74.9 percent. Data were analyzed using SPSS and appropriate descriptive and inferential statistical techniques.


Cronbach's alpha for five service‐quality dimensions (tangibles, reliability, responsiveness, safety and empathy) were high and the SERVQUAL instrument proved to be reliable, valid and appropriate. The results showed that sex, education, income and occupation were statistically significant in influencing inpatients' satisfaction, and all the null hypotheses were rejected. Only inpatient age was not significant.

Practical implications

The study highlights service quality influence in the design of broader healthcare strategies for Saudi Arabian public and private hospitals. It demands that management researchers and analysts must identify regional service quality consistencies and related inpatient demographic indicators.


The study offers some insights into, and guidance for, hospital quality assurance in Saudi Arabia in general and the urban hospital setting in the Middle‐East in particular.



Al‐Borie, H. and Sheikh Damanhouri, A. (2013), "Patients' satisfaction of service quality in Saudi hospitals: a SERVQUAL analysis", International Journal of Health Care Quality Assurance, Vol. 26 No. 1, pp. 20-30.

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