Patient experience in outpatient pediatric otolaryngology§


  • Presented at the Triological Society Combined Sections Meeting, Miami, Florida, U.S.A., January 26–28, 2012, and received the first place award in the poster competition.

  • Data for this report were supplied by Press Ganey, and all patient and institutional information was deidentified prior to distribution and analysis.

  • §

    The authors have no funding, financial relationships, or conflicts of interest to disclose.



Patient experience scores are emerging as a key measure of healthcare quality. This report evaluated differences in outpatient otolaryngology patient satisfaction scores by age.

Study Design:

Patient-level analysis of Press Ganey Medical Practice surveys completed by otolaryngology patients or parents in 2010.


Surveys were grouped by child (<18 years old) or adult age. Children were evaluated in three subgroups (0–5 years, 6–12 years, and 13–17 years). The survey contains 29 items, which comprise six service domains of access, visit, nursing, provider, personal issues, and assessment. Comparison of mean scores was performed using the Kruskal-Wallis rank test for nonparametric data. Multivariate logistic regression analysis was performed to evaluate association of age with receipt of highest scores (HI-SCORES) in each domain.


Of 44,010 surveys analyzed, 5,996 (13.6%) were pediatric. The majority of children were <6 years (n = 3,141; 52.4%). Mean scores were lower for children overall (88.4 children vs. 90.2 adults) and in domains of access, visit, nursing, issues, and assessment (P < .005, all comparisons); scores were equal for care provider. Mean scores were lowest for children 0 to 5 years across all domains (overall means: 88.0, 0–5; 88.4, 6–12; 89.4, 13–17; 90.2 >18; P = .0001) and increased with age. Multivariate analysis showed that children were less likely than adults to give HI-SCORES overall (odds ratio, 0.81, 95% confidence interval, 0.76-0.86; P < .001) and in all domains (P = .0001) except for provider.


Compared to adults, satisfaction is lower in all service domains except care provider for pediatric otolaryngology patients, and is lowest for younger children. Otolaryngologists should consider the unique needs of the child and family to improve overall patient experience.