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01.12.2017 | Research article | Ausgabe 1/2017 Open Access

BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 1/2017

Quality of medical service, patient satisfaction and loyalty with a focus on interpersonal-based medical service encounters and treatment effectiveness: a cross-sectional multicenter study of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) hospitals

BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine > Ausgabe 1/2017
Chang Eun Kim, Joon-Shik Shin, Jinho Lee, Yoon Jae Lee, Me-riong Kim, Areum Choi, Ki Byung Park, Ho-Joo Lee, In-Hyuk Ha
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Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (doi:10.​1186/​s12906-017-1691-6) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.



Treatment effectiveness holds considerable importance in the association between service quality and satisfaction in medical service studies. While complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) use grows more prominent, comprehensive evaluations of the quality of medical service at CAM-oriented hospitals are scarce. This study assesses the quality of medical services provided at a CAM-oriented hospital of Korean medicine using the service encounter system approach and analyzes the influence of treatment effectiveness on patient loyalty.


A survey study using one-on-one interviews was conducted using a cross-sectional design in outpatients visiting one of fifteen Korean medicine facilities located throughout Korea. A total of 880 surveys were completed from June to July, 2014, and 728 surveys were included in the final analysis after excluding incomplete or incorrect questionnaires. The reliability and validity of the surveys was confirmed using Cronbach’s alpha coefficient and confirmatory factor analysis, and a structural equation modeling analysis was performed to verify causality and association between factors (quality of medical service, treatment effectiveness, patient satisfaction, and intent to revisit).


The measured factors of physician performance and quality of service procedures had a positive effect on treatment effectiveness. The impression of the facilities and environment directly impacted satisfaction rates for interpersonal-based medical service encounters, while treatment effectiveness positively affected satisfaction regarding quality of medical service. However, treatment effectiveness had a more significant effect on satisfaction compared to facilities and environment, and it indirectly affected satisfaction and directly influenced intent to revisit. Treatment effectiveness and satisfaction both positively influenced intent to revisit.


The importance of treatment effectiveness should be recognized when examining quality of medical services, and we hope that these findings may contribute to future studies.
Additional file 1: Outpatient department customer satisfaction survey. The final questionnaire used for collection of data. (DOCX 252 kb)
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