Distinguishing patient satisfaction with treatment delivery from treatment effect: a preliminary investigation of patient satisfaction with symptoms after physical therapy treatment of low back pain.

Journal Article (Clinical Trial;Journal Article)

OBJECTIVE: To investigate the discrepancy between ratings of pain intensity and patient satisfaction by evaluating a questionnaire item that assesses patient satisfaction with treatment effect. DESIGN: Inception cohort. SETTING: Ambulatory care. PARTICIPANTS: Sixty-six consecutive patients referred to outpatient physical therapy (PT) with acute low back pain (LBP). INTERVENTION: PT using treatment-based classification guidelines. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE: Patient satisfaction 6 months after receiving PT for LBP. RESULTS: Patient satisfaction with symptoms was considerably lower than the other patient satisfaction items. Patient satisfaction with symptoms was responsive to measures of treatment effect (Spearman rho range, .36-.44, P < .01) and with whether expectations were met (Spearman rho = .45, P < .01). Patients who were satisfied with symptoms reported higher physical function, lower pain intensity, and less symptom bothersomeness (P < .01) at 6 months. The 2 strongest absolute and unique predictors of patient satisfaction with symptoms at 6 months were whether treatment expectations were met and change in symptom bothersomeness. CONCLUSIONS: This study suggested that a questionnaire item assessing patient satisfaction with symptoms allows patients to distinguish between satisfaction with treatment effect and treatment delivery.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • George, SZ; Hirsh, AT

Published Date

  • July 2005

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 86 / 7

Start / End Page

  • 1338 - 1344

PubMed ID

  • 16003661

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0003-9993

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.apmr.2004.11.037


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States