Aims: To develop a questionnaire that measures specific aspects of patient satisfaction with occupational health physicians.
Methods: General patient satisfaction questionnaires, a literature survey, and interviews with patients were used. An initial questionnaire was distributed among sick listed patients (n = 432) of occupational physicians (n = 90) from different occupational health services. To reduce items and to develop scales exploratory factor analysis and reliability analysis was used. A linear regression model was used to predict satisfaction ratings from the scales of the questionnaire.
Results: Questions about independence of the occupational physician were difficult to ask unambiguously. The factor analysis revealed five relevant factors which were named "being taken seriously as a patient", "attitude towards occupational health services", "trust and confidentiality", "expectations", and "comfort and access". All scales could be reduced to a maximum of five items without reducing the scale reliability too much. In the regression analysis, 71% of the variance of satisfaction ratings was explained by the first four scales and most by the first scale. "Comfort and access" did not contribute significantly to the model.
Conclusions: A short questionnaire was developed to measure different aspects of patient satisfaction specific for occupational health. Whether the questionnaire can effectively lead to quality improvement in occupational health services should be investigated.