Pessimism and hostility scores as predictors of patient satisfaction ratings by medical out-patients

Brian A. Costello, Thomas G. McLeod, G. Richard Locke, Ross A. Dierkhising, Kenneth P. Offord, Robert C. Colligan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Purpose - The purpose of this research is to determine whether a pessimistic or hostile personality style adversely affects satisfaction with out-patient medical visits. Many patient and health care provider demographic characteristics have been related to patient satisfaction with a health care encounter, but little has been written about the association between patients' personality characteristics and their satisfaction ratings. Design/methodology/ approach - An eight-item patient satisfaction survey was completed by 11,636 randomly selected medical out-patients two to three months after their episode of care. Of these, 1,259 had previously completed a Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI). The association of pessimism and hostility scores with patient satisfaction ratings was assessed. Findings - Among patients who scored high on the pessimism scale, 59 percent rated overall care by their physicians as excellent, while 72 percent with scores in the optimistic range rated it as excellent (p=0.003). Among the hostile patients, 57 percent rated their overall care by physicians as excellent, while 66 percent of the least hostile patients rated it as excellent (p=0.002). Originality/value - Pessimistic or hostile patients were significantly less likely to rate their overall care as excellent than optimistic or non-hostile patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)39-49
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Health Care Quality Assurance
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2008


  • Health services
  • Patients
  • Personality
  • United States of America

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Business, Management and Accounting
  • Health Policy


Dive into the research topics of 'Pessimism and hostility scores as predictors of patient satisfaction ratings by medical out-patients'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this