Intercultural comparison of patient satisfaction with physiotherapy care in Australia and Korea

The authors’ purpose in this study was to perform a cross-cultural comparison of the factors that influence patient satisfaction with musculoskeletal physiotherapy treatment in Australia and Korea. The researchers conducted prospective studies in Australia and Korea. Patient satisfaction data were collected using the MedRisk Instrument for Measuring Patient Satisfaction with Physical Therapy Care (MRPS) from a total of 1666 patients who were visiting clinics for physiotherapy treatment for a musculoskeletal condition. Exploratory factor analysis was conducted to identify factors determining patient satisfaction in each cohort. A four-factor solution for the MRPS was found for the Australian and Korean data sets, explaining 61 and 55% of the variance respectively. Communication and respect, convenience and quality time and person-focused care were factors shared by both countries. One factor unique to Korea was courtesy and propriety. For both cultures, global patient satisfaction was significantly but weakly correlated with the outcome of treatment.

The authors’ concluded that interpersonal aspect of care, namely effective communication and respect from the therapist, seemed to be the primary and universal factor that influences patient satisfaction with physiotherapy treatment, however other culturally specific contributors were identified. They advised that physiotherapists could get the most patient satisfaction with care by addressing those elements that uniquely influence patient satisfaction the cultural context within which they work.