Development of a questionnaire to measure patients' satisfaction with general practitioners' services.
It is now a requirement that patients' satisfaction with the services obtained from their general practitioner should be surveyed. The aim of the study was to produce a reliable and valid multidimensional patient satisfaction questionnaire that could be used in general practice. Items were originally derived from patients' responses to open-ended questions. The resulting 148-item Likert-scale questionnaire was completed by 1193 patients. General satisfaction items were removed from the set, and responses to remaining items underwent factor analysis. Subscales were produced from items representing each factor. Reliability and validity of each subscale were examined. Five subscales with a total of 40 items resulted from the factor analysis: doctors, access, nurses, appointments and facilities. Each subscale was internally reliable (Cronbach's alpha coefficient between 0.73 and 0.95), and initial tests of validity suggested that all subscales were valid. The study has resulted in a 40-item scale that has been found to be reliable and valid after initial tests. Further work to test the reliability and validity of the final version of the patient satisfaction questionnaire is described.