Rural Disparities in Hospital Patient Satisfaction: Multilevel Analysis of the Massachusetts AHA, SID, and HCAHPS Data

J Patient Exp. 2020 Aug;7(4):607-614. doi: 10.1177/2374373519862933. Epub 2019 Sep 23.


INTRODUCTION: Hospital patient satisfaction has been a salient policy concern. We examined rurality’s impact on patient satisfaction measures.

METHODOLOGY: We examined patients (age 50 and up) from 65 rural and urban hospitals in Massachusetts, using the merged data from 2007 American Hospital Association Annual Survey, State Inpatient Database and Survey of Patients’ Hospital Experiences, utilizing Hierarchical binary logistic regression analyses to examine the rural disparities in patient satisfaction measures.

RESULTS: Relative to the urban location, rurality reduced the likelihood of cleanliness of environment (odds ratio = 0.66, 95% confidence interval: [0.63-0.70]); but increased the likelihood of staff responsiveness and quietness. Compared to Caucasian counterparts, Hispanic patients were less likely to reside in a quiet hospital. Compared to other payments, Medicare or Medicaid coverage each reduced the likelihood of staff responsiveness and cleanliness. Compared to other diagnoses, depressive or psychosis disorders predicted smaller odds in responsiveness and cleanliness. Anxiety diagnosis reduced the likelihood of cleanness and quietness. At the facility level, higher registered nurse full-time equivalent (FTE)s or being a teaching hospital increased the likelihood of all measures.

CONCLUSION: Relative to the urban counterparts, rural patients experienced lower likelihood of staff responsiveness after adjusting for other factors. Compared to Caucasian patients, Hispanic patients were less likely to reside in quiet hospital environment. Research is needed to further explore the basis of these disparities. Mental health diagnoses in depressive and psychosis disorders also called upon further studies in special care needs.

PMID:33062885 | PMC:PMC7534133 | DOI:10.1177/2374373519862933