Patient Satisfaction in relation to Weight Status and Access to Primary Care Provider

Tuesday, June 14, 2016
Lobby (Annenberg Center)

Author(s): Janani Rajbhandari Thapa; Ko Otani; Saswat Panda


Background: Satisfied patients adhere to care-plans; and patient satisfaction affects hospital patronage as well as reimbursement by Medicare. Since two-thirds of the U.S. population is overweight or obese, it is important to understand the relationship between weight status and patient satisfaction. Only a few patient satisfaction studies have included weight status, and their results conflict with each other. This current study includes weight status and is based on Andersen’s Behavioral Model.

Methods: The 2013 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System survey included patient satisfaction for the first time, providing an opportunity to analyze the effect of weight status on patient satisfaction in relation to access to primary care provider. The data is rich and confounding from sex, race, education level, insurance status, Medicare status, income level could be controlled for. Subgroup analysis and binary logistic regression was used to analyze the effect of weight status on patient satisfaction for N=240,466 complete cases.

Results: Normal weight (OR=1.157, p value=<0.0001) and overweight patients (OR=1.130, p value=<0.0001) showed significantly improved odds of being satisfied compared to obese patients and underweight patients. In addition, having yearly income <$25,000 had 52% decreased odds of being satisfied compared to highest income range, having Medicare had 59% improved odds compared to not having Medicare, and having yearly checkups had 50% improved odds compared to infrequent checkups. Having one personal doctor predicted 76% greater odds of being satisfied with care compared to those with no personal doctor.

Conclusion: This study concludes that patients with extreme weights have small, but significant odds of about 10% of being less satisfied with health care received compared with normal weight individuals. It also shows that further research can be done to explore less studied determinants of patient satisfaction. The adjusting variables of frequency of checkup, Medicare status, and having or not having a primary care provider proved to be very strong contributors to satisfaction in this model and their study could prove to be beneficial to understanding and improving patient satisfaction with healthcare.

Implications: Primary health care delivery systems should look at weight status as a factor in determining patient satisfaction.