To analyze factors associated with the level of satisfaction of outpatients with their relationship with their doctor at the largest public hospital in Qatar (Hamad General Hospital).


Researchers surveyed 628 outpatients at Hamad General Hospital in Doha from September, 2009 to January, 2010 using a novel questionnaire designed to assess satisfaction with patients’ interaction(s) with their doctor (time spent with patient, took case seriously, maintained confidentiality, overall quality of visit). Demographic variables on each responder were also collected, including age, gender, citizenship, educational level, and cultural and geographic information related to both patient and physician.


Mean responses on 4 key doctor-patient Likert scale survey items (1 to 5) were as follows: “spent enough time with patient” = 4.39; “doctor took case seriously” = 4.57; “satisfaction with doctor-patient confidentiality” = 4.71; “overall quality of visit to the doctor” = 4.46. Age, gender, citizenship, level of education, and number of visits did not significantly impact the level of satisfaction. For 73.1% of patients, the physician's qualification was the most important factor in choosing a doctor. Of those surveyed, 40.7% of men and 28.1% of women preferred to see a doctor of their own gender. A positive correlation between perceived communication and satisfaction with the doctor-patient encounter was established.


Patients in the out-patient department at the largest public hospital in Qatar were highly satisfied with the amount of time their physician spent with them, the seriousness with which the physician treated their case, the degree of doctor-patient confidentiality, and the overall quality of their visit. The high satisfaction rates may be the result of large investments in public health services funding in Qatar over the past 10 years. Qualification of the doctor was identified as the most significant factor in choosing a doctor. A significant number of males and females preferred a physician of their own gender. The positive correlation uncovered between perceived communication difficulty and lower satisfaction with the doctor-patient encounter should be the subject of more focused studies in light of the multicultural medical environment of Qatar hospitals.


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