This article reviews the origins, conceptual bases, psychometric properties, and limitations of consumer satisfaction measures in social welfare and behavioral health. Based on a systematic review of research reports published between 2003 and 2013, we identify 58 consumer satisfaction measures. On average, these measures have acceptable reliability (mean Cronbach’s α =.85). However, the research on the concurrent and predictive validity of consumer satisfaction is inconclusive. We identify the following three core aspects of consumer satisfaction: (a) satisfaction with alternative elements of service, (b) promotion or recommendation of a program based on a recent service experience, and (c) subjective appraisal of change or problem resolution related to participation in a service. Attrition bias, reactivity, and confounding of ratings with the image of service providers complicate and condition the interpretation of consumer satisfaction as an outcome measure.
- client satisfaction
- consumer satisfaction
- net promotion
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
- Sociology and Political Science