Expectations and satisfaction of patients with low back pain attending a multidisciplinary rehabilitation service.

Christopher James McCarthy, Jacqueline Oldham, Ruth Sephton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: To identify the expectations of service, and degree of satisfaction, with a multidisciplinary service for patients with low back pain, and to examine the strength of association between patients' satisfaction and expectations. METHOD: A three-stage study design was used. concerns were identified by a focus group; priority issues were identified by ranking by use of a Delphi consensus questionnaire; satisfaction or expectation questionnaires were also used to rate patients' satisfaction and the degree to which expectations were met. SUBJECTS: Three convenience samples of patients with low back pain were recruited. Ten patients attended the focus group, 55 completed the Delphi consensus questionnaire and 40 completed the satisfaction or expectation questionnaires. RESULTS: Patients rated a clear diagnosis and effective treatment as important, and the ease with which they could access the service and post-discharge follow-up as important issues when judging satisfaction. Patients rated their overall satisfaction and meeting their expectations higher than specific service issues, and the strengths of the associations between the two constructs varied from concern to concern. CONCLUSION: Certain aspects of service provision are rated with greater importance than others when patients judge a service they have experienced. There are differences in the strength of associations between the constructs of patient satisfaction and meeting expectations of service, specific to the individual service concern that is being evaluated. The present study provides more evidence that specific concerns within service provision should be identified before evaluating patients' expectations and satisfaction with the service overall.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-31
Number of pages8
JournalPhysiotherapy research international : the journal for researchers and clinicians in physical therapy
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2005


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