Project Title

Perceived Need for Medical Care and Patient Satisfaction: Does Rurality Matter?

Authors' Affiliations

Kyndal Grammer, Department of Psychology, College of Arts and Sciences, East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, TN. Julia Dodd, PhD, Department of Psychology, College of Arts and Sciences, East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, TN.

Faculty Sponsor’s Department

Psychology

Additional Sponsors

Julia Dodd, Kelly Moore, Andrea Clements

Type

Oral Competitive

Classification of First Author

Graduate Student-Doctoral

Project's Category

Other Healthcare

Abstract Text

Many individuals, especially those in rural areas, experience barriers to accessing medical care. Some barriers are attitudinal and represent perceived quality of care, such as patient satisfaction; however, some rural residents report elevated patient satisfaction scores, regardless of limited access to these services. Identifying how perceived need for medical care is related to patient satisfaction has not been previously explored. Using an online survey to collect data from a national sample (n=535), the current study used the Patient Satisfaction Questionnaire-Short Form (PSQ-18) and a single-item measure of perceived need to examine the association between these two variables, and further, whether rural status, measured by a single-item measure, moderated this association. Results indicated a significant negative correlation between patient satisfaction and perceived need, r(423)=-.12, p=.012. Although the overall moderation model was significant, F(5, 388)=7.10, p<.001, perceived need was not significantly associated with patient satisfaction, b=-.14, p=.20, and rurality status did not significantly moderate the relationship, F(1, 388)=.44, p=.51, ��R2=0.01. However, the covariates of income, b=.11, p<.001, and sexual orientation, b=.23, p=.01, significantly predicted patient satisfaction. This study identified an association between patient satisfaction with perceived need for medical care that has not been previously explored, although this relationship was no longer significant in a larger model, indicating other important factors likely influence this relationship and contribute to the elevated satisfaction scores identified in some rural areas. The lack of moderation by rurality may be due to consistently high barriers to accessing care across all regions of the United States; while rural areas certainly experience unique barriers to care, the barriers present in urban environments may be significant enough that level of rurality in itself does not significantly affect the relationship between perceived need and patient satisfaction. Furthermore, this study highlights the importance of social determinants of health in patients’ perceptions of quality of care. Sexual orientation and income emerged as significant predictors of patient satisfaction, in that higher satisfaction was associated with those who identified as heterosexual and had higher income, consistent with previous literature. Further investigation is necessary to determine the reasons why these relationships exist; however, it is important to acknowledge that individuals with low-income and who identify as sexual minorities experience stigma and discrimination in healthcare settings. These negative experiences with healthcare likely influence perceptions and health disparities that exist within these individuals and may directly impact patient satisfaction levels, which may be influential to these findings.

This document is currently not available here.

Share

COinS
 

Perceived Need for Medical Care and Patient Satisfaction: Does Rurality Matter?

Many individuals, especially those in rural areas, experience barriers to accessing medical care. Some barriers are attitudinal and represent perceived quality of care, such as patient satisfaction; however, some rural residents report elevated patient satisfaction scores, regardless of limited access to these services. Identifying how perceived need for medical care is related to patient satisfaction has not been previously explored. Using an online survey to collect data from a national sample (n=535), the current study used the Patient Satisfaction Questionnaire-Short Form (PSQ-18) and a single-item measure of perceived need to examine the association between these two variables, and further, whether rural status, measured by a single-item measure, moderated this association. Results indicated a significant negative correlation between patient satisfaction and perceived need, r(423)=-.12, p=.012. Although the overall moderation model was significant, F(5, 388)=7.10, p<.001, perceived need was not significantly associated with patient satisfaction, b=-.14, p=.20, and rurality status did not significantly moderate the relationship, F(1, 388)=.44, p=.51, ��R2=0.01. However, the covariates of income, b=.11, p<.001, and sexual orientation, b=.23, p=.01, significantly predicted patient satisfaction. This study identified an association between patient satisfaction with perceived need for medical care that has not been previously explored, although this relationship was no longer significant in a larger model, indicating other important factors likely influence this relationship and contribute to the elevated satisfaction scores identified in some rural areas. The lack of moderation by rurality may be due to consistently high barriers to accessing care across all regions of the United States; while rural areas certainly experience unique barriers to care, the barriers present in urban environments may be significant enough that level of rurality in itself does not significantly affect the relationship between perceived need and patient satisfaction. Furthermore, this study highlights the importance of social determinants of health in patients’ perceptions of quality of care. Sexual orientation and income emerged as significant predictors of patient satisfaction, in that higher satisfaction was associated with those who identified as heterosexual and had higher income, consistent with previous literature. Further investigation is necessary to determine the reasons why these relationships exist; however, it is important to acknowledge that individuals with low-income and who identify as sexual minorities experience stigma and discrimination in healthcare settings. These negative experiences with healthcare likely influence perceptions and health disparities that exist within these individuals and may directly impact patient satisfaction levels, which may be influential to these findings.

Project Video