Editor's Choice| Volume 48, ISSUE 1, P1-8, January 2023

A Systematic Review of Satisfaction Measures in Hand and Wrist Surgery

Published:November 26, 2022DOI:


      Patient-reported experience measures (quantifying satisfaction, trust, perceived clinician empathy, and communication effectiveness) may not be developed with the same rigor as patient-reported outcome measures (quantifying comfort and capability). We systematically reviewed the use of measures used to evaluate satisfaction with hand surgery by comparing recent (2017–2019) and remote (2000–2002) publications to assess the use of satisfaction measures and areas for potential improvement.


      An initial search yielded 6,159 studies, 278 of which met the eligibility criteria. We compared the 2 time periods and recorded the method of satisfaction assessment (dichotomous, categorical, and ordinal) and the results. Because they are measures of research usage potentially representative of rigor in instrument development, we evaluated aspects of score distribution, including discernment (the threshold set at >80% of top scores) and skewness, as well as the differentiation between the satisfaction with outcome and experience.


      Dichotomous ratings of satisfaction were the most common (171 [62%] of 278 studies), followed by categorical (83 [30%] of 278 studies) and ordinal ( 66 [24%] of 278 studies). All 3 score types had limited discernment (86% dichotomous, 77% categorical, and 64% ordinal ratings) and non-Gaussian distributions (negative skew near 1 or greater), with no differences between the remote and recent time periods. Ninety-seven percent of studies made no distinction between satisfaction with outcome and experience.


      Measurements of satisfaction with hand surgery have remained unchanged over the last 20 years. They are associated with nonnormal distributions, a notable proportion of top scores, and routine failure to distinguish between experience and outcomes of care.

      Clinical relevance

      Patient-reported experience measures developed with the rigor comparable to the development of patient-reported outcome measures have the potential for either of the following: (1) specificity, variation, and responsiveness sufficient to guide experience improvement efforts or (2) verification of notable ceiling effects that may limit their use.

      Key words

      JHS Podcast

      January 2, 2023

      JHS Podcast Episode 82

      Dr. Graham interviews Dr. Charlie Wilson regarding his paper “A Systematic Review of Satisfaction Measures in Hand and Wrist Surgery”, which is the lead article in the January 2023 issue of the Journal of Hand Surgery.

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