Satisfaction with Physician (SWP)

While the primary function of physician-patient communication is to enhance the health of the patient, in the modern medical world it is also important that the patient believe that he/she is being taken care of well by their physicians. Dissatisfied patients may not return to the physician, may leave the HMO, or may even file suit against the physician. Hence, patient satisfaction with the physician's care is an important outcome of the communication between physicians and patients. The SWP was developed to provide a simple, general measure of patients' satisfaction with their physician. This measure may be useful to researchers as well as medical practitioners. Alpha reliability estimates should be expected to be above .90 for this measure.

Directions: On the measure below, please circle how pleased/satisfied/comfortable you are with your physician. Circle one number for each item. Number 4 means "undecided." The closer a number is to the description you think fits best, the stronger you feel about it.

1. Pleased 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Displeased

2. Dissatisfied 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Satisfied

3. Comfortable 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Uncomfortable


Step 1. Add the scores for items 1 and 3.

Step 2. Complete the following formula: 16 + score for item 2 - total for Step 1.

Scores above 18 indicate high satisfaction with physician. Scores below 12 indicate low satisfaction. Scores between 12 and 18 indicate moderate satisfaction.


Richmond, V. P., Smith, R. S., Heisel, A. M., & McCroskey, J. C. (1998). The impact of communication apprehension and fear of talking with a physician and perceived medical outcomes. Communication Research Reports, 15, 344-353.