This study extends previous research by examining perceived closeness as a moderator of traditional relationship measures such as satisfaction, trust, commitment, and psychological comfort, and the impact of each on the intention of the patient to remain with his/her physician. Our findings reveal that in cases where the patient feels close to the physician, psychological comfort with the physician is the most important factor in predicting patient retention. For those who feel less close to the physician, satisfaction is theprimary predictor of patient retention. Therefore, as a close relationship develops between the patient and doctor, the patient's comfort level becomes increasingly important as an exit barrier, even outweighing patient satisfaction.
Spake, Deborah F; Bishop, John S. (2009). The Impact of Perceived Closeness on the Differing Roles of Satisfaction, Trust, Commitment, and Comfort on Intention to Remain with a Physician. Health Marketing Quarterly 26(1) doi: 10.1080/07359680802473281. Retrieved from https://oaks.kent.edu/mrktentrpubs/13