Understanding Patients’ Reactions to Services: The Role of Personal Service Values in Heart Patient Satisfaction and Wellness


1Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Robert R. Sinclair, Department of Psychology, Portland State University, 317 Cramer Hall, Portland, OR 97207. E-mail: Sinclair@pdx.edu


This study proposed an individual-difference perspective on heart patients’ customer-service satisfaction. We hypothesized that heart patients’ satisfaction with service is positively related to wellness and that instrumental care, expressive care, and communication effectiveness are positively related to satisfaction and wellness. We also hypothesized that patients’ values for services would moderate the relationship between service provision and outcomes. A survey of 217 heart patients provided support for these hypotheses. Of particular interest were findings that: (a) the service provision-service outcomes relationship was moderated by service values for some patient groups but not for others; and (b) the service provision-outcomes relationship differed across patient subgroups. We discuss the implications for patient satisfaction research and for planning individualized treatment strategies.