Modifiable and Nonmodifiable Factors Associated With Patient Satisfaction in Spine Surgery and Other Orthopaedic Subspecialties

A Retrospective Survey Analysis

Leah Steinmetz, BA; Dennis Vasquez-Montes, MS; Bradley C. Johnson, MD; Aaron J. Buckland, MBBS, FRACS; Jeffrey A. Goldstein, MD, FACS; John A. Bendo, MD; Thomas J. Errico, MD; Charla R. Fischer, MD


Curr Orthop Pract. 2019;30(6):555-560. 

In This Article

Materials and Methods

Ethical Review and Study Design

This retrospective survey analysis was exempted from institutional review board approval and patient consent due to anonymized data.


We conducted a retrospective review of prospectively collected ambulatory Press Ganey satisfaction surveys from the New York University Department of Orthopedic Surgery between 2013 and 2017. Surveys were grouped into patients seen at a spine division office and patients seen at a nonspine orthopaedic specialty office.

Data Sources and Measurement

Overall satisfaction was measured by the following surrogates: likelihood of recommending the provider on a 0–3 scale (LR) and provider rating (PR) on a 0 to 10 scale. Patient and physician demographic factors and patient-reported health status were included in the analysis. The following provider-related questions were analyzed: Did this provider…"explain things in a way that was easy to understand", "listen carefully to you", "give easy to understand information", "talk about any health questions or concerns", "seem to know the important information about your medical history", "show respect for what you had to say", and "spend enough time with you". Two questions describing satisfaction with clerk/receptionist assistance were included: "were clerks and receptionist at this provider's office as helpful as you thought they should be" and "did clerks and receptionists at this provider's office treat you with courtesy and respect". Provider-related and staff-related question aggregate scores were calculated as "provider communication" and "staff communication" which were then compared.

For each group, Pearson bivariate correlation analysis was performed between each question in the survey and overall experience as measured by LTR and PR. Multivariate regression modeling was utilized to elucidate the combination of top predictive factors that identified differences between the patients in the spine division and other patients within the orthopaedic department. A sample size calulation to power the study for a specific variable was not performed as all available surveys from 2013 through 2017 were included.

Statistical Analysis

Statistical analysis was performed using IBM SPSS Statistics for Windows, version 23.0 (IBM Corp., Armonk, N.Y., USA). Performance metrics were compared by conducting 2-tailed t-tests, chi-square tests of independence, and Kruskall-Wallis tests, respectively, for continuous and categorical data. Significance level was set at α<0.05.