Background: Assessing the satisfaction of the “population-patient” requires conceptualizing the dimensions of satisfaction differently from that of individual patients.

Purpose: The focus of this study was to develop and pilot test a short questionnaire that can reliably assess satisfaction with the care provided by public health nurses (PHNs) carrying out population-level activities in their communities.

Methods: An instrument-development approach was used. With input from five experts, items were developed to assess seven dimensions of population-patient satisfaction, and then refined before use in the community with a convenience sample of community participants recruited by PHNs in six counties across two states. The pilot yielded 134 surveys collected on 28 different dates over 5 years. Analysis included calculating the means and alpha reliability of each satisfaction dimension and the overall satisfaction.

Results: All dimensions except communication (alpha 0.68) had an alpha reliability above 0.80. The enthusiasm dimension received the highest rating (mean=4.6, SD=0.60). The respect dimension had the lowest rating (mean=4.3, SD=0.80). Significant differences between the two states (n=32, n=97) were found for values (p=0.02) and communication (p=0.03). Analysis of variance showed significant differences by local health departments (LHDs) on values (p=0.001), enthusiasm (p=0.002), and communication (p=0.02). Although the enthusiasm subscale seemed to be the highest for most LHDs, no clear pattern of strengths and weaknesses per LHD emerged.

Implications: Data from using the Population Patient Satisfaction Survey can be used to identify perceptions of the community regarding the quality of population-focused activities and thus areas for improvement which would then enhance community health.