Residents Achieve a High Patient Satisfaction in Pre-Anesthetic Patient Assessment. An Observational Study


A physician’s empathetic attitude is regarded as an important influencing factor towards patient satisfaction. However, physicians’ self-assessed empathy declines during medical school and through residency, which may limit patient satisfaction in the doctor-patient contact. In conse-quence, we hypothesized that residents might fail in generating high levels of patient satisfaction. We conducted an observational study in the setting of a pre-anesthetic assessment center, Univer-sity Hospital Leipzig, Germany. Patient satisfaction was measured using the overall ZUF-8 score (8 - 32 points; increasing with patient satisfaction). Data were collected by questionnaires (ZUF-8 items, additional satisfaction items, and items of organizational and logistical processes). Key items for patient satisfaction as primary endpoints were defined. Statistical evaluation was performed in dependency of the anesthesiologists’ level of training (residents vs. consultants) by using the Mann-Whitney-U test or the chi square test, as required. Statistical significance was accepted for p < 0.05. In total, 2565 patients were assessed for eligibility. 986 patients met the criteria of inclusion. 978 questionnaires were submitted with 517 questionnaires being excluded because of missing values. Finally, 461 questionnaires could be analysed. Both residents and consultants achieved a high level of patient satisfaction. The ZUF-8-scores were comparable between the groups (p = 0.91), whilst the quality of consultation was rated slightly better by patients being assessed by residents (p = 0.047). The results in additional satisfaction items were comparable between the groups. We found a trend in residents assessing to be rated more friendly. Residents are able to generate a high level of patient satisfaction which is comparable to that of consultants with scores ranging between “good” and “very good”. Small albeit significant differences in favor of residents underline the quality of their performance in pre-anesthetic patient assessment.

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Reuter, U. , Jurack, B. , Engelmann, N. , Busch, T. and Schnoor, J. (2014) Residents Achieve a High Patient Satisfaction in Pre-Anesthetic Patient Assessment. An Observational Study. Open Journal of Anesthesiology, 4, 263-275. doi: 10.4236/ojanes.2014.411039.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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