Objective. We investigated to what extent personality is associated with patient satisfaction with hospital care. A sizeable association with personality would render patient satisfaction invalid as an indicator of hospital care quality.Design. Overall satisfaction and satisfaction with aspects of care were regressed on the Big Five dimensions of personality, controlled for patient characteristics as possible explanatory variables of observed associations.Participants. A total of 237 recently discharged inpatients aged 18–84 years (M = 50, SD = 17 years), 57% female, who were hospitalized for an average of 8 days.Instruments. The Satisfaction with Hospital Care Questionnaire addressing 12 aspects of care ranging from admission procedures to discharge and aftercare and the Five-Factor Personality Inventory assessing a person’s standing on Extraversion, Agreeableness, Conscientiousness, Emotional stability, and Autonomy.Results. Agreeableness significantly predicted patient satisfaction in about half of the scales. After controlling for shared variance with age and educational level, the unique contribution of Agreeableness shrank to a maximum of 3–5% explained variance. When one outlier was dropped from the analysis, the contribution of Agreeableness was no longer statistically significant.Conclusion. Patient satisfaction seems only marginally associated with personality, at least at the level of the broad Big Five dimensions.
International Journal for Quality in Health Care – Oxford University Press
Published: Apr 10, 2006
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