Factors Influencing Patient Satisfaction in Dermatology

Main Article Content

Abigail Cline
Tamar Gomolin
Bijan Safai


patient satisfaction, clinic, education


Background: Patient satisfaction is a proxy for healthcare quality, with physicians evaluated and reimbursed based on patient satisfaction scores. Despite the growing influence of patient satisfaction, factors that impact patient satisfaction in dermatology remain unclear.

Methods: We analyzed 225 responses to an online survey evaluating patient expectations, willingness, and satisfaction regarding dermatology appointments. Patient willingness and satisfaction were measured on a 1-5 Likert scale. 

Results: Respondents were most willing to discuss their condition and to be examined with a dermatoscope. Respondents were least willing to wear a patient gown without underwear and to be photographed. Highly satisfying factors included a written treatment plan, provider medication recommendations, and use of gloves during physical exams. Highly dissatisfying factors included waiting 60 minutes, taking off underwear with a patient gown, and being photographed with a cellphone.

Patient willingness and satisfaction differed significantly by gender and age. Male respondents reported less satisfaction than female respondents if a nurse explained the treatment plan. Older respondents were significantly more willing to change into a patient gown, to be photographed, to be examined with a dermatoscope, and to undergo a biopsy than younger respondents. Older and female respondents preferred written plans, while younger and male respondents preferred verbal plans.  Younger respondents reported higher satisfaction with an email follow-up compared to older respondents, who preferred a phone call.

Conclusion: These findings may represent relatively easy ways to improve patient satisfaction scores. Further insight into factors affecting patient satisfaction may enhance patient experience and engagement, thereby improving clinical outcomes.


1. Camacho F, Balkrishnan R, Khanna V, Khanna K, Feldman SR. How happy are dermatologists’ patients. The Dermatologist. 2013;21(4).

2. MOC Requirements https://www.abderm.org/diplomates/fulfilling-moc-requirements/moc-requirements.aspx#SA.

3. Kincey J, Bradshaw P, Ley P. Patients' satisfaction and reported acceptance of advice in general practice. The Journal of the Royal College of General Practitioners. 1975;25(157):558-566.

4. Uhas AA, Camacho FT, Feldman SR, Balkrishnan R. The Relationship Between Physician Friendliness and Caring, and Patient Satisfaction: Findings from an Internet-Based Survey. The patient. 2008;1(2):91-96.

5. Patel S, Sutton AV, Thorpe J, Tsai KY, Crew AB. Patient satisfaction and quality of care: a prospective study at outpatient dermatology clinics. Cutis. 2018;102(1):33-35.

6. De Salins CA, Brenaut E, Misery L, Roguedas-Contios AM. Factors influencing patient satisfaction: assessment in outpatients in dermatology department. Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology : JEADV. 2016;30(10):1823-1828.

7. Buhrmester M, Kwang T, Gosling SD. Amazon's Mechanical Turk: A New Source of Inexpensive, Yet High-Quality, Data? Perspectives on psychological science : a journal of the Association for Psychological Science. 2011;6(1):3-5.

8. Ali ST, Feldman SR. Patient satisfaction in dermatology: a qualitative assessment. Dermatology online journal. 2014;20(2).

9. Pashler H, McDaniel M, Rohrer D, Bjork R. Learning Styles: Concepts and Evidence. Psychological science in the public interest : a journal of the American Psychological Society.