Building an effective doctor-patient relationship: From patient satisfaction to patient participation

Edward J. Speedling, David N. Rose

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

119 Scopus citations


In this paper, the authors argue that patient satisfaction is an insufficient measure of the quality of the doctor-patient relationship. While shown to have a salutary effect on patient anxiety concerning illness and treatment, the only other significant outcome associated with levels of satisfaction is utilization behavior. This is not surprising, the authors argue, since prevailing conceptualizations of patient satisfaction fail to incorporate measures of patient participation in the therapeutic process. Evidence suggests that by encouraging patients to take an active role in their health care physicians can increase the effectiveness of their therapeutic activities. A method for involving patients is through incorporating their preferences into the physician's decision-making processes. An example of physician decision making which incorporates patient preferences is provided.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)115-120
Number of pages6
JournalSocial Science and Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1985
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • History and Philosophy of Science


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