Patient Satisfaction, Treatment Experience, and Disability Outcomes in a Population-Based Cohort of Injured Workers in Washington State: Implication for Quality Improvement

Health Services Research--August 2004
Vol. 39, No. 4, Pt 1
August 2004
Wickizer, T.M., Franklin, G., Fulton-Kehoe, D., Turner, J., Mootz, R., and T. Smith-Weller
pp. 727-48

OBJECTIVE: To determine what aspects of patient satisfaction are most important in explaining the variance in patients' overall treatment experience and to evaluate the relationship between treatment experience and subsequent outcomes. DATA SOURCES AND SETTING: Data from a population-based survey of 804 randomly selected injured workers in Washington State filing a workers' compensation claim between November 1999 and February 2000 were combined with insurance claims data indicating whether survey respondents were receiving disability compensation payments for being out of work at 6 or 12 months after claim filing. STUDY DESIGN: We conducted a two-step analysis. In the first step, we tested a multiple linear regression model to assess the relationship of satisfaction measures to patients' overall treatment experience. In the second step, we used logistic regression to assess the relationship of treatment experience to subsequent outcomes. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Among injured workers who had ongoing follow-up care after their initial treatment (n = 681), satisfaction with interpersonal and technical aspects of care and with care coordination was strongly and positively associated with overall treatment experience (p < 0.001). As a group, the satisfaction measures explained 38 percent of the variance in treatment experience after controlling for demographics, satisfaction with medical care prior to injury, job satisfaction, type of injury, and provider type. Injured workers who reported less-favorable treatment experience were 3.54 times as likely (95 percent confidence interval, 1.20-10.95, p = .021) to be receiving time-loss compensation for inability to work due to injury 6 or 12 months after filing a claim, compared to patients whose treatment experience was more positive.

View full article...