Toward a predictive model of patient satisfaction with nurse practitioner care


  • Ann Green PhD, RN, CS, A/G/FNP,

  • Sheila Davis PhD, RN

  • Authors
    Ann Green, PhD, RN, CS, A/G/FNP, is employed as certified adult, geriatric, and family nurse practitioner at the Sterlington Outpatient Rural Health Clinic, Sterlington, Louisiana, and associate professor at Northwestern State University Graduate School of Nursing, Shreveport, Louisiana. Sheila P. Davis, PhD, RN, is a Professor in the School of Nursing at the University of Mississippi Medical Center, Jackson, Mississippi. She was recently awarded a lifetime Associate Membership in the National Academics because of service on the Institute of Medicine's Consequences of Uninsurance Committee. At the university, her research interest includes childhood obesity and health disparities.

Contact Dr. Green by e-mail at



(a) To determine if caring behaviors of nurse practitioners (NPs), gender of NPs, setting (urban or rural), and age, gender, ethnicity, education, and income of patients were predictors of patient satisfaction; (b) to determine which of these characteristics was the best predictor(s) of patient satisfaction; and (c) begin to develop a conceptual model for explaining patient satisfaction with NP care.

Data sources

Responses to the Caring Behaviors Inventory (CBI) and a demographic inquiry by 348 NPs in Louisiana and completion of the Di’Tomasso–Willard Patient Satisfaction Questionnaire (DWPSQ) and a demographic inquiry from 817 patients in Louisiana served as data sources. A predictive modeling design explored which variable(s) is the best predictor of patient satisfaction, and multiple regression was used to determine the equation for the best-fitting line and the optimal model for the best predictor(s) of patient satisfaction.


CBI mean scores were high for all NPs. No statistically significant difference was found between male NPs’ and female NPs’ total mean CBI scores and between urban or rural total mean CBI scores. DWPSQ mean scores and subscale scores indicated high satisfaction with NP care. No statistically significant relationships were found between the NPs’ CBI mean scores and the patients’ DWPSQ mean scores. There were significant relationships between the DWPSQ subscales, including Wait Time and Patient Management. Stepwise linear regression revealed that patients’ age group was a predictor of DWPSQ total mean scores.

Implications for practice

NPs need to be aware of developmental differences in all age groups and the differences in perceptions of care. There are many variables to consider when determining patient satisfaction with care, including the patients’ sociodemographic and health variables, the healthcare system, and characteristics of the healthcare providers. Awareness of these variables may affect how NPs deliver care and ensure quality care with which the patients are satisfied.