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The measurement of patient satisfaction has been encouraged by a growing consumer orientation in health care, especially since it yields information about consumers’views in a form which can be used for comparison and monitoring However, drawing on literature from a variety of sources, this paper suggests that there remain several unresolved issues relating to the measurement of satisfaction, and some serious questions about the validity of the concept It is argued that current approaches to measuring satisfaction may not be grounded in the values and experiences of patients, therefore satisfaction surveys could be denying patients the opportunity to have their opinions included in the planning and evaluation of health care services