Treatment preference, patient satisfaction and treatment outcome
background Patient satisfaction is generally considered to be an indicator of the quality of care. However, it is unclear what factors determine patient satisfaction.
aim To determine to what extent discrepancies between treatment preferences and the actual treatment provided affect the prediction of patient satisfaction, drop out and treatment outcome. method A naturalistic cohort study with 5 measurement points was conducted at 4 out-patient locations, each having facilities for mental health care and addiction care. The study population consisted of 258 persons, 88 being from mental health care and 170 from addiction care. Using logistic regression analysis the extent was tested to which the disconfirmation of treatment preferences (i.e. patients' treatment preferences were totally or partially disregarded) affected the prediction of patient satisfaction, drop out and treatment outcome.
results Patient satisfaction was found to be affected negatively when the form and content of the treatment did not correspond to patients preferences. Preference disconfirmation, however, did not predict drop out. In addiction care patient preference disconfirmation predicted a negative outcome. conclusion Patient satisfaction and treatment outcome may improve considerably if patients' treatment preferences are respected to a greater extent and preference disconfirmation is minimised.