Article Title

Patient satisfaction with musculoskeletal physiotherapy care in Australia: An international comparison

Abstract

Objectives: (1) To attain a quantitative estimate of patient satisfaction with physiotherapy care for musculoskeletal conditions in Australia; (2) to compare the observed level of patient satisfaction with care in Australia with those from other countries; and (3) to compare factors contributing to patient satisfaction between Australia and the United States (US).

Methods: We conducted a prospective study of 274 patients presenting for physiotherapy treatment of a musculoskeletal disorder in Australian clinics. Patient satisfaction was measured using the 20-item MedRisk Instrument for Measuring Patient Satisfaction with Physical Therapy Care (MRPS) and satisfaction scores were compared with those from Northern Europe, North America, the United Kingdom, and Ireland. To investigate factors contributing to patient satisfaction between Australia and the US, we compared 20- item MRPS data from Australian and Spanish-speaking US cohorts.

Results: Mean Australian MRPS satisfaction score was 4.55 (95% confidence interval: 4.51–4.59) on a scale of 1 to 5, where 1 indicates high dissatisfaction and 5 indicates high satisfaction. This high level of patient satisfaction is consistent with international data. Australian respondents specifically valued interpersonal aspects of care, including advice and information about their condition and an explanation about selfmanagement. The correlation between treatment outcomes and global patient satisfaction was low (r=-0.22). A comparison of data collected from Australia and the US showed that MRPS items regarding interpersonal aspects of care, such as the therapists’ communication skills, correlated strongly with global satisfaction in both countries. However, there were other questionnaire items for which the correlation with global satisfaction was significantly different between Australia and the US.

Conclusions: Patient satisfaction with musculoskeletal physiotherapy care in Australia is high and comparable with Northern Europe, North America, the United Kingdom and Ireland. Comparison of data between Australia and the US indicates that while some determinants of patient satisfaction are common, country-specific differences also exist.

Keywords

Peer-reviewed

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Link to Publisher Version (DOI)

http://doi.org/10.1179/2042618612Y.0000000009