Background: Patient's satisfaction has been regarded as a subjective reflection of the quality of care received by patients during their hospital stay. However, which factors may influence patient satisfaction in different healthcare settings needs to be determined.
Methods: Cross-sectional investigation of satisfaction at the time of discharge in 52 consecutive patients admitted in a UK Referral Centre for Thoracic Surgery for either elective (41 patients) or acute (11 patients) procedures. We evaluated patients' satisfaction with the inpatient service through the European Organisation for the Research and Treatment of Cancer IN-PATSAT32 standardised questionnaire. Major cardiopulmonary complications were defined according to the definition of the European Society of Thoracic Surgeons database. We focused on the General Patient Satisfaction Scale of the questionnaire to explore its relationship with several demographic and clinical factors. Relationships were tested using univariate regression analyses.
Results: General inpatient satisfaction was lower in patients with complications rather than those without (P=0.006) and in males rather than females (P=0.04). Living area, sex, and complications explained 22% of the variation in general inpatient satisfaction (P=0.006).
Conclusions: Regardless of the diagnosis, post-operative complications were associated with a lower patient satisfaction following thoracic surgery in our group of patients. This was particularly so for males and patients from rural areas. Research should focus on different clinical groups in our speciality to determine the specific strategies warranted to improve their quality of care and hence increase their satisfaction with inpatient services.