Coyne and Messina Articles, Part 3 Spearman Coefficient Review
Messina, et. al studied The Relationship Between Patient Satisfaction and Inpatient Admissions Across Teaching and Nonteaching Hospitals. The article was published in 2009 in the Journal of Healthcare Management. In this study, the Spearman coefficient of rank-order correlation was used to analyze the relationship between the variables. The sample size used for this study was small (7 teaching hospitals and 7 nonteaching hospitals).
This made it difficult for the researchers to determine whether the data was normally distributed and they therefore resorted to Spearman coefficient of rank-order.
Spearman is a non-parametric function that can be used to test the relationship between two variables. The description of this relationship is done using a monotonic function. The two variables used are satisfaction and admissions with patient satisfaction being the independent variable and admissions being the dependent variable.
The researchers performed correlational analyses on the pooled sample of 7 teaching and 7 nonteaching hospitals. After this, an analysis of the differences between the teaching and the nonteaching sample was performed. This was done using the Mann-Whitney U-test. After this analysis, the researchers did a separate analysis on the 7 teaching and the 7 nonteaching hospitals. The two variables were used to discern the nature of the association between admissions and satisfaction mean scores (Messina 182).
Study Research Questions
The study had two research questions:
- The first question is the relationship between patient satisfaction and inpatient admissions.
- The second research question moves further and tries to determine whether this relationship is different between teaching and nonteaching hospitals.
The study answered the research question because the Spearman rank-order correlation results showed that there is a negative relationship between inpatient admission and patient satisfaction in the combined sample.
The results show that a higher patient satisfaction score is associated with low patient volumes. On the second research question, the results showed that there was a positive relationship between patient satisfaction and inpatient admissions in teaching hospitals (Messina 182). However, for the non-teaching sample, there was a negative relationship between patient satisfaction and inpatient admissions.
Usage of Spearman Coefficient
Spearman rank-order correlation coefficient is appropriately used in this study. This is because descriptive statistics values like means, medians and standard deviations were computed. The values were then ranked and used to determine the characteristic of the participating hospitals based on patient satisfaction mean scores and inpatient volume data.
Ranking is a very important element in Spearman rank-order correlation coefficient tests because it is through ranking that the individual observation of the parameters was ranked into two ordered series (Jackson 162). The skewness and kurtosis were also measured to determine the spread of the sample used (Osborn 275).
In conclusion, the study by Messina et, al had objective of determining the relationship between patient satisfaction and inpatient admissions across teaching and nonteaching hospitals. Spearman coefficient of rank-order was used in this study to determine this relationship. The variables used were satisfaction and admissions. These variables were ranked after which the researchers studied whether a change in one rank affected the other rank.
The results of the study showed that there is a negative relationship between inpatient admission and patient satisfaction in the combined sample. On the second research question, the results showed that there was a positive relationship between patient satisfaction and inpatient admissions in teaching hospitals. Spearman coefficient of rank-order was effectively used in this study.