Factors associated with Americans' ratings of health care quality: What do they tell us about the raters and the health care system?

Wen Ying Sylvia Chou, Lin Chun Wang, Lila J. Finney Rutten, Richard P. Moser, Bradford W. Hesse

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Consumer satisfaction ratings of health care quality represent a commonly used measure of health care performance. Identifying factors associated with ratings will help us understand the relative influence of individuals' sociodemographic and health characteristics on satisfaction level, thus informing policy making and clinical practice. Existing research has yielded mixed results on key predictors of consumer ratings. Using nationally representative data, this study aims to identify factors associated with Americans' ratings of health care quality. Data from 2008 Health Information National Trends Survey (HINTS) were analyzed using weighted multinomial logistic regressions to estimate consumer ratings. Predictor variables included demographics, health status, care access, and attitude and perceptions about health. Overall ratings were positively skewed; 70% of respondents rated care as excellent or very good. Minority race, psychological distress, not having had cancer, not having a regular health care provider, not having health insurance, lacking confidence in self-care, and avoidance of doctors were significantly associated with lower ratings. The study identifies the psychosocial characteristics associated with lower consumer ratings. The results highlight the importance of using multiple approaches to assess quality of care, including considering patient characteristics, and contribute to the evidence base for evaluating overall quality of care at the dawn of health care reform.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)147-156
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of health communication
Issue numberSUPPL. 3
StatePublished - 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Communication
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Library and Information Sciences


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