Patients’ view about healthcare service delivery is a neglected subject in many developing countries such as Lebanon. Patients are viewed as passive beneficiaries of healthcare service with muted voices. However, the patients’ perceptions of service quality and satisfaction with healthcare services can assist management and policy makers in the design, implementation, and evaluation of services that in turn assist to better improve and deliver qualitative healthcare to the populace. Thus, the present research study aims to contribute to the development of knowledge on patient satisfaction. More specifically, it attempts to distinctively identify the key healthcare dimensions that impact patient satisfaction with primary care services in Lebanon.
To achieve this goal, a literature review is conducted in order to provide an original conceptualization of patient satisfaction and its drivers. Based on the literature review, an exploratory qualitative study is undertaken to gain insight into specific influencing factors that are incorporated into the conceptual satisfaction model. An original model is developed that illustrates the effects of four influencing factors (physician care, price of care, access to care, and atmospherics of care) on outpatient satisfaction and tests a set of hypotheses covering the mediating and moderating effects.
The empirical study is designed to explore effects and to transfer gained knowledge into management guidelines. The research is conducted at Mount Lebanon Clinic (which is the property of the researcher’s family and a typical case of clinics in Lebanon) on a sample of 385 outpatients. Multiple regression analysis is used to test the hypotheses.
The results of this research are twofold. First, a model that details relationships between influencing factors and patient satisfaction is proposed and validated in the Lebanese context. Second, an advanced model of patient satisfaction is developed. It is designed to view patient satisfaction more holistically and to provide guidelines for healthcare providers. The existence of two mediating variables is unveiled: distributive justice and perceived healthcare quality. The moderating role of age, income, and gender is also examined.