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Department of Psychology

University of Mississippi

Autonomy in the Obstetrician/Gynecologist-Patient Relationship as a Predictor of Patient Satisfaction

yalejournalDr. Carrie Smith and an Honors College student, Ashley Hill, have just had a manuscript accepted by the Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine.  It is set to be published in June, 2013.  The title and abstract follow:

“Autonomy in the Obstetrician/Gynecologist-Patient Relationship as a Predictor of Patient Satisfaction”

A considerable amount of recent medical research focuses on factors involving patient satisfaction. This study attempts to examine the role of autonomy in the gynecologist-patient relationship as it relates to patient satisfaction. Fifty-five patients at a women’s clinic completed measures assessing autonomy preference (API) before the medical visit and patient-perceived autonomy support (HCCQ) and patient satisfaction (MISS) after the visit. Analyses revealed patients prefer a more equal level of decision making with their doctor (a medium level of autonomy) when asked general questions about medical decisions but preferred less autonomy when presented with actual scenarios. Results show a significant relationship between scenario-based autonomy preference level and visit satisfaction for both satisfaction measures. A significant relationship between perceived autonomy support and visit satisfaction was also found for both satisfaction measures. The findings of this study suggest autonomy is important to the gynecologist-patient relationship and worthy of future study.