Purpose – Aims to investigate the structural relationships between out‐patient satisfaction and service quality dimensions under a South Korea health care system where patients have substantial freedom in choosing their medical service providers and to further study the causal relationship between service quality and satisfaction between out‐patient subgroups obtained on the basis of gender, age and types of services received. Design/methodology/approach – After assessing the construct validity of the service quality dimensions based on confirmatory factor analysis, a path model specifying the relationships between service quality dimensions and patient satisfaction was estimated. The next analysis was a series of multi‐sample analyses. A multigroup LISREL analysis was used to test the invariance of structural paths between service quality dimensions and patient satisfaction. Findings – Results indicated that the general causal relationship between service quality and patient satisfaction was well supported in the South Korean health‐care delivery system. An examination of the estimated path coefficients showed that the pattern of relationships between service quality and patient satisfaction was similar across the gender, age, and service type subgroups. Results also revealed that the level of satisfaction, on the other hand, was not the same for subgroups when divided by age and the types of services received. Originality/value – Since the majority of the past studies have been geographically concentrated in the countries in North America and Western Europe, the findings of this study expand understanding of the relationships between service quality and patient satisfaction.
Journal of Services Marketing – Emerald Publishing
Published: May 1, 2005
Keywords: Outpatients; Customer satisfaction; Customer services quality; South Korea
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