Depression and Non-modifiable Patient Factors Associated with Patient Satisfaction in an Academic Orthopaedic Outpatient Clinic: Is it More Than a Provider Issue?

Breann K. Tisano, Paul A. Nakonezny, Bruno S. Gross, J. Riley Martinez, Joel E. Wells

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


BackgroundPatient satisfaction surveys play an increasingly important role in United States healthcare policy and serve as a marker of provided physician services. In attempts to improve the patient's clinical experience, focus is often placed on components of the healthcare system such as provider interaction and other experiential factors. Patient factors are often written off as "non-modifiable"; however, by identifying and understanding these risk factors for dissatisfaction, another area for improvement and intervention becomes available.Questions/purposes(1) Do patients in the orthopaedic clinic with a preexisting diagnosis of depression report lower satisfaction scores than those without a preexisting diagnosis of depression? (2) What other non-modifiable patient factors influence patient-reported satisfaction?MethodsWe reviewed Press Ganey Survey scores, which assess patient experiential satisfaction with a single clinical encounter, from 3044 clinic visits (2527 patients) in adult reconstructive, sports, and general orthopaedic clinics at a single academic medical center between November 2010 and May 2017, during which time approximately 19,000 encounters occurred. Multiple patient factors including patient age, gender, race, health insurance status, number of previous clinic visits with their physician, BMI, and a diagnosis of depression were recorded. Patient satisfaction was operationalized as a binary outcome as satisfied or less satisfied, and a multiple logistic regression analysis was used to estimate the odds of being satisfied.ResultsAfter adjusting for all other covariates in the model, we found that patients with a diagnosis of depression were less likely to be satisfied than patients without this diagnosis (odds ratio 0.749 [95% confidence interval, 0.600-0.940]; p = 0.01). Medicare-insured patients were more likely to be satisfied than non-Medicare patients (OR 1.257 [95% CI, 1.020-1.549]; p = 0.03), patients in the sports medicine clinic were more likely to be satisfied than those seen in the general orthopaedic clinic (OR 1.397 [95% CI, 1.096-1.775]; p = 0.007), and established patients were more likely to be satisfied than new patients (OR 0.763 [95% CI, 0.646-0.902]; p = 0.002).ConclusionsGiven the association of depression with lower satisfaction with a single visit at the orthopaedic clinic, providers should screen for depression and address the issue during the outpatient encounter. The impact of such comprehensive care or subsequent treatment of depression on improving patient-reported satisfaction offers areas of future study.Level of EvidenceLevel III, therapeutic study.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2653-2661
Number of pages9
JournalClinical orthopaedics and related research
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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