The purpose of this paper is to provide a greater understanding of the general practitioner (GP)-patient relationship for academics and practitioners. A new model for dyadic professional relationships specifically designed for research into the doctor-patient relationship was developed and tested. Various conceptual models of trust and related constructs in the literature were considered and assessed for their relevance as were various related scales.
The model was designed and tested using purposefully designed scales measuring doctors’ trustworthiness, practice orientation performance and patient satisfaction. A quantitative survey used closed-ended questions and 372 patients responded from seven GP practices. The sample closely reflected the profile of the patients who responded to the DoH/NHS GP Patient Survey for England, 2010.
Hierarchical regression and partial least squares both accounted for 74 per cent of the variance in “overall patient satisfaction”, the dependent variable. Trust accounted for 39 per cent of the variance explained, with the other independent variables accounting for the other 35 per cent. ANOVA showed good model fit.
The findings on the factors which affect patient satisfaction and the doctor-patient relationship have direct implications for GPs and other health professionals. They are of particular relevance at a time of health reform and change.
The paper provides: a new model of the doctor-patient relationship and specifically designed scales to test it; a greater understanding of the effects of doctors’ trustworthiness, practice orientation and performance on patient satisfaction; and a new framework for examining the breadth and meaning of the doctor-patient relationship and the management of care from the patient’s viewpoint.
The authors thank Professor Edward Krupat, Harvard Medical School, for his permission to adapt and use PPOS; Professor Phillip Samouel for his advice and help with applying PLS; Professors Richard Baker, Malcolm Higgs and Kevin Money for their helpful comments on the original research findings; and especially the patients who responded and the GP surgery staff who facilitated the process.
Van Den Assem, B. and Dulewicz, V. (2015), "Doctors’ trustworthiness, practice orientation, performance and patient satisfaction", International Journal of Health Care Quality Assurance, Vol. 28 No. 1, pp. 82-95. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJHCQA-04-2013-0037
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