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Customer satisfaction is largely a vague topic. Different clients might hold regardful degrees of satisfactory grades depending on different discrepancies like the civilization, degree of instruction and many other factors. One of the ways to measure the predictability for the topic is The Partial Least Square Methodology ( PLSM ) which is considered a new manner to foretell and reconstruct the hereafter consequences.

This research uses the partial least square patterning methodological analysis to look into and

theoretical account the satisfaction of users of the Metropolitan Ambulance Service, Melbourne

( MAS ) . The theories of Customer Satisfaction were reviewed so a definition of the

construct established. The current province of the MAS was briefly discussed and the PLSM

methodological analysis was defined. Datas collected from the MAS client population was

analysed by the PLSM method and by traditional statistical methods for comparative

intents.

The consequences of the research demonstrated that the PLS methodological analysis can be successfully

applied to the field of satisfaction measuring of the ambulance service client.

Whilst unambiguously patterning the determiners of client satisfaction, it agreed with

work by earlier research workers that peculiar facets of staff behavior were really

of import for high degrees of client satisfaction in the service industries.

The theoretical account predicted that alterations in the satisfaction evaluation of the staff variable would

hold a important consequence on overall satisfaction and critical consequential results such

as reuse and re-subscription. It besides predicted that the overall theoretical account of client

satisfaction of MAS users was insensitive to alterations with image, cost or equipment.

“ Customer Satisfaction in the MAS ” Abstraction

seven

An unexpected determination was that perceived medical ability was strongly linked to the

paramedic ‘s professional visual aspect.

Deductions of the determination are that MAS should pay close attending in the design and

care of the paramedic uniform. The relationship between a paramedic ‘s

professional visual aspect and their medical ability as perceived by a patient should be

emphasised during preparation and professional development yearss. The really high

importance of staff issues such as competency, friendliness, composure and

trustiness in respect to client satisfaction reaffirms MAS attending and

consciousness of the affair.

The research needs to been repeated within MAS to give a tendency over clip and a

step of the effectivity of alterations. To demo that the methodological analysis is widely

applicable the research should be repeated utilizing another ambulance service.

“ Customer Satisfaction in the MAS ” Table of Contentss

eight

1. Introduction

This thesis will prove the rightness of a methodological analysis to look into and pattern the

satisfaction of users of an ambulance service. First, there will be a reappraisal of the

theories of client satisfaction so a definition of the construct will be established to

be used in the thesis. The methodological analysis to be applied will be defined. The administration,

which is the topic of this survey, is the Metropolitan Ambulance Service, Melbourne

( MAS ) . The current province of the MAS will be briefly discussed. Data collected from

the MAS client population will so be analysed by the selected method and by

traditional statistical methods for comparative intents.

In this chapter, the issues to be studied will be outlined to give a footing for the research

and treatments in ulterior chapters.

1.1 Purposes

This thesis aims to:

aˆ? Identify the drivers of satisfaction with an ambulance service,

aˆ? Measure the comparative satisfaction with and importance of those drivers,

aˆ? Determine whether the Subscribers and the Health Care Card Holders have differing

satisfaction theoretical accounts and values,

aˆ? Determine which countries for betterment within MAS offer the greatest potency

return on investing,

aˆ? Predict the consequence alterations on the service will hold on the determination to recycle and

resubscribe, and

“ Customer Satisfaction in the MAS ” Chapter 1: Introduction

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aˆ? Benchmark the MAS ‘s degree of client satisfaction against other administrations.

1.2 Satisfaction of ambulance service clients

There is a ample organic structure of research on the medical facets of pre-hospital attention and on

the country of client satisfaction but few surveies have been reported on client

satisfaction of users of an ambulance service. A reappraisal of the available literature found

merely one published survey ( Fultz, Coyle and Reynolds, 1998 ) analyzing satisfaction of

clients of an ambulance service. Fultz, Coyle and Reynolds ( 1998 ) investigated the

satisfaction of patients transported by an Air Ambulance Service. A farther three

unpublished surveies, were uncovered including one which measured the client

satisfaction with the call taking procedure that initiates the MAS exigency response

( Patterson, 1996 ; NWR-ASV, 1999 ; Dale, 2000 ) . None of these surveies, nevertheless,

considered the service bringing and subscription facets of an ambulance service.

The above surveies did non pattern the satisfaction of ambulance users or effort to do

anticipations sing effects of alterations.

It is proposed in this thesis that a suited methodological analysis for mensurating the satisfaction of

clients of an ambulance service would:

aˆ? Identify the drivers of satisfaction and rate them in footings of public presentation and

importance,

aˆ? Determine which drivers have the possible to be expeditiously improved with a

ensuing addition in satisfaction,

“ Customer Satisfaction in the MAS ” Chapter 1: Introduction

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The methodological analysis should besides be able to set up if the assorted sections of the

client base have varied outlooks of the ambulance service,

aˆ? Finally the methodological analysis should be able to associate the cloudy construct of satisfaction

with touchable, mensurable Acts of the Apostless such as usage, recommendation and redemption,

aˆ? The ability to validly benchmark the consequences against other administrations would be an

extra benefit.

1.2.1 Satisfying patients enhances service quality

Supplying the service that the client wants is the best class of action for

administrations, harmonizing to the World Quality Movement ( 1997 ) , the universe extremum quality

organic structure. MAS ‘s Ambulance Paramedics receive three old ages medical preparation at university

and in the field, before they are qualified. The elect nomadic intensive attention ambulance

paramedics undergo a farther 12 months developing. Their medical attention and accomplishments

degrees are thought to be of universe criterion by MAS and the Victorian State Government.

But as Fitch ( 1989, p. 9 ) provinces, “ Patients can have first-class clinical attention and at the

same clip be mistreated ” . Paramedics should care for people, non merely medical

jobs. If an Ambulance Service is committed to excellence so they would necessitate to

ask, “ what can we make for our patients above and beyond first-class medical intervention? ”

The non-medical facets of the interaction can be really of import to a patient and their

household. It can be argued that what truly affairs to the patient are the things that MAS

should be making. In this sense, a quality service as defined by the client, is one that

green goodss client satisfaction.

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Recently quality has been defined as client satisfaction. Companies such as General

Electric and Motorola have been traveling off from the ISO 9000 series steps to

one utilizing client satisfaction. The Australian Wider Quality Movement in their

study, Quality, Productivity and Competitiveness ( 1997 ) stated, “ Quality is what the

client believes it is ” . On 5th May 1997, the World Quality Movement defined

client satisfaction as quality ( 1997 ) . Fornell ( 1995 ) has shown that client

satisfaction guided alterations to an administration have shown a competitory advantage

demonstrated by increased market portion and net income border.

Internationally choice direction strategies seem non to hold brought the consequences first

promised by their protagonists. In a study of more than 200 British houses, merely 20 %

reported they had found any important impact as a consequence of Total Quality Management,

( TQM ) , ( Ittner and Larcker, 1996 ) . Of 500 US companies, about two-thirds found no

competitory addition in their quality plans ( Ittner and Larcker, 1996 ) . TQM had the

consequence of concentrating employee ‘s attending on internal procedures instead than on external

consequences ( Harari, 1993 ) , attempt had been directed toward leaping through internal

bureaucratic basketballs and non needfully adding value to the terminal user.

1.2.2 Benchmarking

An of import portion of many quality plans is benchmarking an administration with other

comparable concerns. MAS is seeking to benchmark its public presentation against eight

other ambulance services throughout the universe ( Baragwanath, 1997a ) . Because of the

differences such as country, population, accomplishment degrees, geographics, clime and support degrees

“ Customer Satisfaction in the MAS ” Chapter 1: Introduction

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between the services, meaningful comparings may be difficult to do for frequently quoted

benchmarks, such as response times or successful resuscitation from cardiac apprehension.

If there were a robust theoretical account of client satisfaction, meaningful comparing could be

made with other ambulance services that do non precisely fit MAS in demographics.

Customer satisfaction can be used as an externally rated, inter-industry benchmark ; it

can besides be used cross sectionally and over clip ( Fornell et al. , 1996 ) . A lack of

satisfaction tonss from other ambulance services would non suppress a comparing being

made. By utilizing a client satisfaction methodological analysis, MAS could validly benchmark

its ego against other non-ambulance administrations that achieve high degrees of

satisfaction.

1.3 The MAS

The Ambulance Service Victoria – Metropolitan Region, trading, as Metropolitan

Ambulance Service, Melbourne, is the topic of this survey. MAS is the exclusive supplier

of professional pre-hospital exigency wellness attention for the 3.4 million people populating in

Greater Melbourne and the environing country. The service is a province authorities backed

endeavor and its function is enshrined in the Ambulance Services Act, 1986.

Some may reason that the function of an administration such as MAS is to present paramedic

services, non needfully to do stakeholders happy. However, it is of import that

MAS is perceived to be effectual and efficient by the stakeholders and clients. For

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any administration to last, even a government-backed monopoly, it must fulfill its

market. To accomplish this end the market must comprehend that its demands have been met.

Few would reason that the quality of medical attention provided by an ambulance service is

non of paramount importance. The patients, the clients of that service, normally have

small ability or experience to judge the quality of the paramedical medical service

provided. MAS ‘s information suggests that that the mean individual lone uses the service

between one and two times in their life-time. The patients hence tend to judge the

quality of the service as a whole on other non-medical factors ( Swan, 1989 ) . Swan

( 1989 ) stated these included, the paramedics carry oning themselves in a composure and

reassuring mode, clean ambulances and how good the service performs compared with

prepossessions formed from telecasting and films. He claimed that it is these

judgements that influence how the clients perceive the administration.

MAS has a figure of stakeholders, including the province authorities, endorsers and

populace. The satisfaction or dissatisfaction of MAS clients can hold direct and

indirect effects. For illustration, a disgruntled endorser may take to non resubscribe.

Degrees of satisfaction or dissatisfaction can besides put force per unit area on the province authorities

who have ultimate control over the MAS.

1.3.1 Paramedical service quality

Mas have in topographic point a Entire Quality Assurance Program ( Csupor, 1997 ) consistent with

ISO 9002. MAS ‘s public presentation, measured by these standards, is now tied to funding

( Olszac, 1997 ) . Previously all of MAS ‘s non-emergency stretcher contractors had been

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accredited to ISO 9002 ( Olszac, 1997 ) . MAS has now achieved enfranchisement under

AS/NZS ISO 9001:2000 ( MAS, 2001 ) . As one of its quality activities under AS/NZS

ISO 9001:2000, MAS is obliged to supervise information on the degree of client

satisfaction and/or dissatisfaction.

In MAS ‘s Quality Assurance Plan, Csupor ( 1997, p. 8 ) alludes to client satisfaction

by the statement “ It is the community, in the broader definition, who will find

whether they have received “ Quality Service ” . She argued that quality is normally

perceived as holding three interconnected spheres: “ Service ” , “ Care ” and

“ Organizational ” .

Csupor ( 1997, p. 7 ) stated that Quality Service is “ accomplishing community satisfaction by

the service provided ” . Unfortunately, how this is measured was non outlined. Quality

Care is defined as supplying attention to acceptable and established criterions. Quality

Administration is achieved by furthering a on the job civilization of acquiring it right first clip and

a committedness to making better by engagement in a co-ordinated uninterrupted clinical

quality betterment procedure ( Csupor, 1997 ) .

Whilst adhering to ISO 9002 and AS/NZS ISO 9001:2000 may or may non better

medical attention for the patients, it could be argued that it would non needfully

show an betterment in their satisfaction without an appropriate methodological analysis.

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1.3.2 Stake holders and public perceptual experience

Many groups, the authorities, endorsers, the media, patients, the populace and staff,

measure MAS ‘s public presentation. The State Government of Victoria, through the

Department of Human Services, provides the majority of the financess to MAS. They appoint

the Board Of Management and Chief Executive Officer. The MAS is straight

accountable the Department of Human Services and is required to run into public presentation

marks. The media provides information and helps organize sentiments for all the above

groups. The members of the 4th estate wield considerable power over public

sentiment, peculiarly those members of the populace whose merely beginning of information of

Ma is through the media. Patients are the most obvious of the groups served by

MAS. In some ways, this group is easy to fulfill, if they receive an ambulance in clip

and are given the attention they expect. The strong emotions nevertheless, by and large involved in

ambulance work, can color the perceptual experience of the service provided. The patients and

their relations are normally in a extremely emotional province and any lack in the attention

provided, existent or perceived may ensue in a formal ailment to direction, the media,

or the authorities. This may in bend affect the perceptual experience of others. Improved

client satisfaction would impact in all of these countries and consequence in improved

community perceptual experience of ambulance attention ( Daly, 1992 ) .

There has been a move toward smaller authorities outgo and greater populace

answerability by the organic structures having the support. The publication of client

satisfaction measuring tonss would help in warranting the monies used by MAS.

1.3.3 Subscription strategy

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MAS has a Subscription Scheme. This is correspondent to insurance where for an one-year

fee the endorser is entitled to free exigency ambulance intervention and conveyance. The

MAS Chief Executive Officer stated in the 1996 one-year study that the fiscal

viability of MAS is linked to the wellbeing of its Subscription Scheme ( Olszac, 1996 ) .

The strategy is a major beginning of income to MAS. Any net income the strategy makes helps to

defray the loss incurred by MAS due to miss of full cost recovery from patient conveyance

fees ( Baragwanath, 1997a ) .

The gross from endorsers for 1995/96 was about $ 28 million stand foring 34.7 %

of its entire gross of $ 80.6 million ( MAS, 1996 ) . This consequence was profitable as the

members merely accounted for 14.8 % of the patients transported. The profitableness was n’t

lost on wellness insurance companies such as Medibank Private who have provided competition to the

subscription strategy. Over the period, 1994/5 to 1995/6, MAS subscriptions dropped

from 530,385 to 512,028 ( MAS, 1996 ) . Almost surely some of this was due to

desertion of members to the wellness insurance companies, although recession and negative promotion

during this period may besides hold had an consequence.

MAS needs to concentrate on maintaining bing clients instead than merely enrolling new 1s.

It costs five times more to get a new client than to maintain an bing one

( Djupvik and Eilertsen, 1995 ) . It makes sound commercial sense for MAS to maintain

endorsers satisfied. There is a close relationship between client satisfaction and

client trueness ( Djupvik and Eilertsen 1995 ) . Satisfied clients buy more, more

frequently, and are more monetary value tolerant ( Marr and Crosby, 1993 ) . A more satisfied client

base increases their likeliness of resubscribing and hence improves the long-run

viability of the administration ( Brooks, 1995 ) .

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A disgruntled client may be MAS more than merely one subscription. Research on

bank clients suggests that the mean unhappy user will state sixteen other people of

his experience. By comparing, a happy bank client will state an norm of eight of

his delectation ( Goodman et al. , 1995 ) .

The mean endorser does non utilize the MAS in any given twelvemonth, yet most continue to

pay the one-year fee. The grounds behind this demand to be explored. The appropriate

client satisfaction methodological analysis would enable anticipations to be made where

betterments in the quality would increase the satisfaction and therefore the value of the

MAS subscriber base.

New endorsers must be recruited even if the endorser base were to be wholly

satisfied with MAS. For illustration, one time a individual is entitled to income support, the

Federal authorities issues a Health Care Card, which among other things entitles the

holder to liberate ambulance conveyance. Merely the most supportive endorsers continue to be

members in these fortunes. To turn the size of the endorser base still more new

members are needed. The determination to fall in the subscription strategy besides needs to be

understood by MAS. This would enable more focussed and effectual advertisement.

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1.3.4 Competition from other insurance strategies

During the 1996-97 fiscal twelvemonth, 76,800 new members were recruited to the strategy

while 49,500 members left. Some of the loss was due to former endorsers going

eligible for free conveyance, but MAS estimated that around 30 per cent of members who

failed to regenerate their subscription become members to cheaper insurance strategies.

( Baragwanath, 1997a )

To vie with the other Schemes MAS has to either bead its monetary values, or increase the

satisfaction of its endorsers and work their increased monetary value tolerance.

The accurate measuring of client satisfaction would enable MAS to break

manage its subscription strategy by better understanding its clients and being able to

predict their leaning to resubscribe.

1.3.5 Preparation for a deregulated exigency ambulance market topographic point

Presently under the Ambulance Services Act 1986, MAS has a legislated monopoly on

pre-hospital exigency appraisal intervention and conveyance in the Greater Melbourne

country. Since 1994, sub-contractors to the MAS have handled the majority of non-emergency

conveyance between infirmaries.

This state of affairs may alter. The last conservative province authorities of Victoria had

denationalization really much on its docket. In the last few old ages, the electricity, gas and

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H2O industries have been privatised. Even the Metropolitan Fire Brigade has been

suggested as a possible campaigner.

It is possible in the hereafter that the exigency ambulance industry could be capable to

denationalization. A high degree of public satisfaction may enable MAS to avoid this

result. This could be compared with the Victorian Public Transport Corporation

where hapless public perceptual experience made it easer for the so authorities, and more toothsome

to the populace, to privatize.

If a authorities did privatize the MAS, and / or other companies competed in the prehospital

exigency attention market, the MAS would necessitate to all the tools available to it to

vie more efficaciously. One of most powerful tools is an accurate measuring of

client satisfaction.

MAS in a possible, future, deregulated market may be compared to Norwegian Telecom

( NT ) . NT is a former monopoly being steadily opened up to an increasing figure of

rivals. This state of affairs called for a market and customer-oriented administration with

a clear scheme non to lose excessively many clients. NT in the early 1990 ‘s had small

experience with competition and its success depended on how fast the administration

became more market orientated ( Djupvik and Eilertsen, 1995 ) . NT used client

satisfaction research to run into the challenge of competition.

If the purposes outlined in subdivision 1.1 are to be achieved, a definition of the term and a

suited methodological analysis of mensurating client satisfaction must be found. In the following

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chapter the field of client satisfaction will be discussed, defined, and the appropriate

research methodological analysis selected for this undertaking.

“ Customer Satisfaction in the MAS ” Chapter 2: Literature Reappraisal

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2. Literature Reappraisal: Customer Satisfaction

The field of Customer Satisfaction is big and traverses many academic subjects. In

this chapter, a reappraisal of the published literature upon which this survey rests will be

presented. The hunt for a feasible definition of client satisfaction will be

explored. The constructs sing the theoretical nature of client satisfaction will be

investigated and some of the major techniques used to mensurate it will be discussed.

Last, the literature refering the drive factors for satisfaction sing medical

attention and in peculiar, ambulance services will be considered.

2.1 Definition of Customer Satisfaction

Presently the concepts of client satisfaction are built upon constructs such as single wants, demands and outlooks. These constructs emerged from theories about consumer pick for goods and services, which are sought to run into demands and wants.

Issues such as monetary values, convenience, entreaty and quality were seen as chairing the picks.

The construct of satisfaction itself needs to be defined. The Shorter Oxford English

Dictionary defined satisfaction as ‘ [ 1 ] being satisfied, [ 2 ] thing that

satisfies desire or gratifies experiencing ‘ . It describes satisfy as ‘ [ 1 ] meeting wants of

content, [ 2 ] be accepted as equal [ 3 ] to carry through, [ 4 ] comply with, [ 5 ] come up to

outlooks. ‘ Customer is defined as ‘a individual who buys a merchandise or uses a service. ‘

Therefore utilizing these definitions, client satisfaction can be thought of as a user or

buyer holding their demands and outlooks fulfilled.

The construct of client satisfaction has been defined in assorted ways. Some suggested that client satisfaction is a map of the client ‘s appraisal of service quality, merchandise quality and monetary value, others suggested that satisfaction is a map of merchandise public presentation comparative

to consumer outlooks. Others considered satisfaction to be an emotional

reaction by the consumer in response to an experience with a merchandise or service. They believed that this definition included the last contact with a merchandise or service, the

satisfaction experience since the clip of purchase every bit good as the general satisfaction

experienced by regular users. Some define client satisfaction as the

clients ‘ perceptual experiences that a provider has met or exceeded their outlooks. Others defined client satisfaction by placing four factors they postulated affected it. The factors were: ( 1 ) indispensable elements of the merchandise or service that clients expected all challengers to present, ( 2 ) basic support services such as client aid, ( 3 ) a recovery procedure to do up for bad experiences and ( 4 ) “ customisation ” which were factors that met clients ‘ personal penchants,

values, or demands. There are people examined a figure of definitions from

other research workers and distinguished between the construct of consumer value and

client satisfaction. They stated that client satisfaction was best judged after

purchase, was experiential and took into history the qualities and benefits every bit good as the

costs and attempts associated with a purchase. Besides some suggested that a client

was satisfied whenever his or her demands, existent or perceived were met or exceeded. He

set it compactly as “ Customer Satisfaction is merely whatever the client says it is ” .

A new paradigm of client satisfaction has evolved from this many-sided organic structure of

cognition. Like it being proposed an econometric theoretical account where

satisfaction was viewed as “ a cumulative abstract concept that describes clients ‘

entire ingestion experience with a merchandise or service ” . This was

non a transeunt perceptual experience of how happy a client was with the merchandise at any given

point in clip. It was the overall experience with the purchase and usage of a merchandise or

service to that point in clip. This construct is consistent with the economic impression where

satisfaction embraces post-purchase ingestion public-service corporation every bit good as expected public-service corporation.

The economic psychological theory where satisfaction was compared with the impression of subjective

well-being.

2.1.1 Importance of client satisfaction

The significance of client satisfaction to the concern universe is the construct that a satisfied client will be a positive plus for the company through reuse of the service, redemption of the merchandise or positive word of oral cavity, which should take to increased net income. The converse of this is that a disgruntled client will state more people of their dissatisfaction, perchance kick to the company and if sufficiently disenfranchised, alteration to another company for their merchandise or service, or wholly withdraw from the market.

2.1.2 Percept of client satisfaction

Customer satisfaction surveies tend follow two different theoretical accounts. These theoretical accounts have been dubbed the “ client concerns ” and the “ organisational concerns ” attack.

There are besides an infinite figure of sunglassess of gray mediate the two extremes.

The theoretical account of client satisfaction chosen in a survey reflects the civilization of the organisation carry oning the survey. The type of theoretical account chosen has effects for specifying client satisfaction. A company that is driven by the importance of what it believes it is making and the importance of its market attack, tends to construe client satisfaction as what the client should desire, against these organisational and selling demands. If nevertheless the organisation has a civilization

where the client is seen as being an independent entity who has his/her ain motivations

beliefs and demands, so client satisfaction will be defined as being based upon

client thought.

Some surveies say that we perceive the universe around us in an egoistic and selective manner. Because we ca n’t take in all the images, esthesis and feelings that are sing continually, we select those that are the most of import.

A consequence of this filtering procedure is we can non measure, with any truth, a thing we

have either consciously or unconsciously selected out. The sequela of this, for client

satisfaction research, is that inquiring inquiries on an issue that the respondent has

selected out or non experient green goodss jobs for the information set produced. Either the

respondent chooses an reply at random ( bring oning noise into the informations set ) which some answers with a “ Do n’t Know / Not applicable ” ( ensuing in losing information ) . To understate this job, the respondent must be asked inquiry that draw from their experience and are in linguistic communication that they understand

2.2 The Nature of Customer Satisfaction

Before client satisfaction can be measured, the nature of satisfaction itself must be

determined.which can be stated as, “ The modeling of client satisfaction depends critically on how satisfaction is conceptualised. ” This aspect nevertheless is controversial. Some of the disputed features of client satisfaction are, the nature of satisfaction, whether satisfaction is cumulative, or dealing specific, and the virtues of measuring at the person compared to the

market degree.

2.2.1 Social Sciences theories of the nature of satisfaction

There have been many attacks in specifying the consumer satisfaction/ dissatisfaction

concept and how the assorted client factors such as cost or merchandise public presentation

impact on satisfaction.

1. Equity Theory. – Harmonizing to equity theory, satisfaction occurs when a given

party feels that the ratio of their results of a procedure is in some manner in balance

with their inputs such as cost, clip and attempt.

2. Attribution Theory – in this theory the result of a purchase is thought of in footings

of success or failure. The cause of the satisfaction is either attributed to factors that

are internal such as the purchasers ‘ perceived purchasing abilities or external such as

trouble of the purchasing undertaking, other peoples attempts or fortune.

3. Performance Theory – client satisfaction is straight related to the merchandise or

services ‘ perceived public presentation features. Performance is

defined as the clients ‘ perceived degree of merchandise quality relative to the monetary value

they pay. That is satisfaction is equated with value, where value equals perceived

quality divided by the monetary value paid.

4. Expectancy Disconfirmation Theory

In this theory, clients form outlooks of merchandise public presentation features prior to buy. When the merchandise is bought and used, the outlooks are compared with existent public presentation utilizing a

better-than, worse-than heuristic. Positive disconfirmation consequences if the merchandise is better than expected while worse than expected public presentation consequences in negative disconfirmation. Simple verification consequences when a merchandise or service performs as expected. Satisfaction is expected to increase as positive disconfirmation additions.

2.2.2 Statistical History of client satisfaction

The first work in the country that would go mathematically based client

satisfaction was carried out in the 1920 ‘s by sociologists analyzing mass behavior utilizing

chiefly per centum analysis. By the 1940 ‘s, grading and evaluations were at the film editing

border of consumer scientific discipline. The leap from correlativity to equations was the major

development in the 1950 ‘s. The first coevals of multivariate analysis occurred in the

1960 ‘s. These methods nevertheless were limited in their ability to convey together theory

and informations. They besides were restricted in treating behavioral informations by their failure to

incorporate subsidiary measuring theories, i.e. the theoretical premises made

during measuring, that, if excluded from the empirical theoretical account, would bias estimations

and confound consequences ( Blalock 1982, Fornell, 1988 ) .

The increasing handiness of computing machine engineering in the late 1960 ‘s and early 1970 ‘s

enabled the widespread usage of multivariate analysis in selling ( Sheth, 1971 ) . The

new methods of coincident analysis of multiple variables displaced the older

techniques of univariate and bivariate analysis. The new procedures included multiple

arrested development, multiple discriminant analysis, factor analysis, chief constituents, multidimensional

grading and bunch analysis. The multivariate revolution of the early

1970 ‘s became established within academe by 1980 and became normally used in

commercial selling research by 1982 ( Bateson and Greyser, 1982 ) .

Around 1982 a new multivariate technique appeared which was claimed brought

together the countries of psychometries, econometrics, quantitative sociology, statistics,

biometries, instruction, doctrine of scientific discipline, numerical analysis and computing machine scientific discipline

( Fornell, 1988 ) . This technique was dubbed the Swedish Satisfaction Barometer

( Fornell, 1988 ) . Claimed advantages of this methodological analysis were that it corrected for

measuring impreciseness, stray effects, modelled a system of relationships and

provided a footing for cause-and-effects reading. By the 1990 ‘s the method had

developed by research workers such as Fornell, Anderson, Johnson, Cha and Bryant at the

National Center for Quality Research ( NCQR ) into the American Customer Satisfaction

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Index ( ACSI ) , an sum, prospective, prognostic client satisfaction step. The

ACSI will be discussed further in subdivision 2.4.4 ( p. 28 ) .

2.3 Concepts of Satisfaction Performance

2.3.1 Gap theory

Parasuraman, Zeithaml and Berry ( 1988 ) suggested that outlooks in the satisfaction

literature have been used as anticipations of service public presentation, while outlooks in

the service quality literature were viewed in footings of what the service supplier should

offer. Later Zeithaml, Berry and Parasuraman ( 1993 ) modified this differentiation,

presenting two different degrees of outlooks and suggesting the being of a zone of

tolerance between these degrees. They argued that satisfaction is the map of the

difference or spread between predicted service and sensed service, while perceived

service quality is the map of the comparing of adequate or desired service with

sensed service public presentation.

2.3.2 Catastrophe theory / fuzzy logic

Most theoretical accounts of client satisfaction presume a additive relationship between the consequence of

assorted causes such as anticipation disconfirmation on the consumer ‘s reaction to a

merchandise or service. Oliva, Oliver and Bearden ( 1995 ) put frontward the construct of

engagement with a merchandise or service. They suggested that at a low degree of

engagement the traditional additive premises hold true. However, at high degrees of

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engagement the relationship becomes “ gluey ” . That is, the consumers do non switch

penchants over a scope of reported public presentation. Alternatively, the sensed public presentation

degree declined until it reaches a cusp where the consumer all of a sudden abandoned the

merchandise in favor of a rival. Subsequently when the sensed public presentation of a merchandise

improves, the consumer will non re-purchase until there is big advantage in making so.

2.3.3 Transaction-specific satisfaction and cumulative satisfaction

Johnson, Anderson and Fornell ( 1995 ) suggested there were two constructs of client

satisfaction in the literature: transaction-specific satisfaction and cumulative

satisfaction. Transaction specific client satisfaction focuses on single consumer

responses to single merchandises and services while the cumulative one describes the

entire ingestion experience of a client with a merchandise or service ( Anderson and

Fornell, 1993 ; Boulding et al. , 1993 ) .

Some dissension exists in transaction-specific satisfaction. Parasuraman, Zeithaml

and Berry ( 1988 ) suggested that perceived service quality was an ancestor to

transaction-specific satisfaction while Bitner ( 1990 ) and Bolton and Drew ( 1991 )

believed that transaction-specific satisfaction is an ancestor to perceived service

quality.

Johnson, Anderson and Fornell ( 1995 ) argued that while endeavors had a practical

demand to carry on dealing specific research on client satisfaction, this action did

non lend to the coevals of through empirical observation generalized theories and theoretical accounts on

satisfaction. They suggested that a market degree or aggregate attack to client

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satisfaction was more likely to get the better of jobs in accommodating the fluctuation of

findings at the single degree.

2.3.4 Individual ( disaggregate ) satisfaction

A big sum of client satisfaction literature is based on the theoretical account of disaggregate

( single degree ) satisfaction with services or goods ( Yi 1991 ) . These disaggregate

surveies show the range of human behavior. However, Yi ( 1991 ) and Anderson and

Sullivan ( 1993 ) have reported jobs with the empirical “ generalizability ” of these

surveies. Johnson, Anderson and Fornell ( 1995 ) argued that the attitudes and behavior

of persons might be so alone that dependable generalizations can non be determined

from single degree surveies. As a solution to this job, they suggested the

collection of persons to bring forth a market degree satisfaction.

2.3.5 Market degree ( aggregative ) satisfaction

Small work has been done on sum or market degree client satisfaction. Market

degree satisfaction is the aggregative satisfaction of all those who purchase and consume a

peculiar merchandise. Johnson, Anderson and Fornell ( 1995 ) reported that the collection

of single responses served to better the power of the measuring by cut downing

the mistake in measuring of satisfaction variables and increasing the confirmation of

consistent relationships with other variables. They suggested that the collection might

besides increase the sensitiveness to relationships between consumer attitudes and subsequent

purchase behavior.

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Market degree satisfaction has been found to be moderately stable over clip ( Johnson,

Anderson and Fornell 1995 ) . Market public presentation outlooks have a big rational

constituent yet remain adaptative to altering market conditions.

Johnson, Anderson and Fornell ( 1995 ) identified three ancestors of their market

theoretical account: public presentation ( sensed merchandise quality relative to monetary value ) , outlook ( attitudes

or beliefs about the grade of public presentation ) and disconfirmation ( the grade to which

perceived public presentation confirms public presentation outlooks ) . They suggested that

disconfirmation has an of import function in developing transactional theoretical accounts of satisfaction

although it is a debatable construct.

2.4 Measuring Customer Satisfaction

Assorted methods have been used to mensurate client satisfaction. Many client

satisfaction steps nevertheless are created without consideration of to their concluding usage. In

peculiar, they are non designed for easy reading by directors looking to outdo

implement alteration in their administration ( Fornell, Ittner and Larcker, 1995 ) . Those that

have been used include:

2.4.1 The Top box method

The really common “ Top-box ” studies where the respondent ticks one of a little figure

of boxes suffer from a figure of restrictions. The little figure of scale points consequences

in a important measuring mistake in the indices. This makes little alterations in

client satisfaction hard to track ( Fornell, Ittner and Larcker, 1995 ) . When make fulling

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out a study signifier, respondents will seldom utilize extremes. So if boxes numbered 1 to 5

are presented to an person, the responses 1 and 5 are seldom used. This efficaciously

reduces the graduated table to one of three points with the average norm usually in the scope 3

to 4. There is a inclination for research workers, when analyzing informations from Top-box studies, to

add together the top two boxes, by and large an “ first-class ” and “ good ” evaluation and so to

use the ensuing per centum value as the figure that are satisfied ( Patterson, 1996 ;

Five and Fergusson, 1997 ) . Equally good as oversimplifying the construct of client

satisfaction, this reduces the sensitiveness of the step to alterations such as clients

traveling from a good to an first-class evaluation.

2.4.2 The SERVQUAL method

SERVQUAL was developed by Parasuraman, Zeithaml and Berry ( 1988 ) and is based

on the service quality “ spread theoretical account ” . The spread theoretical account defines service as a map of the

spread between clients ‘ outlooks of a service and their perceptual experiences of the existent

service bringing by an administration. Although widely used ( Hemmansi, Strong and

Taylor, 1994 ) , SERVQUAL has had a figure of unfavorable judgments including multicollinearity

( Chen, Gupta and Rom, 1994 ) and psychometric jobs ( Brown, Churchill and Peter,

1993 ) . Smith ( 1995 ) considered it of questionable value for either practicians or

faculty members.

The above two techniques are the chief systems utilised by research workers. However, they

are affected by several jobs. The most of import of these is that they fail to

supply penetration into the determiners of client satisfaction that have the greatest

influence on purchase, redemption and monetary value tolerance that lead to the highest economic

returns for the provider.

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2.4.3 National Centre For Quality Research ( NCQR ) method

The basic theoretical account for gauging the NCQR consists of a system of equations depicting

dealingss among six concepts, perceived quality, client outlooks, perceived

value, client satisfaction, client keeping and client ailments. Each

concept is measured utilizing multiple questionnaire points to increase the preciseness of

measuring. Each of the inquiries is measured on a ten-point graduated table to heighten

dependability and cut down mistake in the indices. This besides increases the ability to track little

alterations that may be lost utilizing a more harsh graduated table.

The information is analysed utilizing a proprietary version of partial least squares patterning

( PLSM ) to bring forth a client satisfaction index ( Fornell, Ittner and Larcker, 1995 ) . It

is claimed that the index has a high correlativity with client redemption purpose and

monetary value tolerance and therefore economic public presentation because of the weighting of single

points such as overall satisfaction, verification to outlook and comparing to ideal

( Fornell, Ittner and Larcker, 1995 ) . The index was developed to get the better of

defects in ability to straight associate quality betterments with alterations in fiscal

public presentation.

The NCQR methodological analysis can be used at both the macro and micro degree. Examples of

the macro degree applications are the Swedish Customer Satisfaction Barometer and the

American Customer Satisfaction Index. Used this manner it is a national step of how

well companies and industries satisfy their clients ( Fornell, 1992 ) . It measures

economic public presentation in respect to quality from a client position. This may be

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28

compared with a productiveness index, which besides measures economic public presentation but

refers to measure.

The micro degree application of the NCQR methodological analysis focuses on a individual concern. It

aids in the managing of the overall concern scheme by concentrating on the keeping

of clients instead than the more common accent on enrolling new patronage. The

methodological analysis considers the client base to be an plus. It aims to mensurate what

variables affect client satisfaction and keeping and it is claimed that the

methodological analysis can foretell what will be the impact of alterations to the variables upon reuse,

recommendation, redemption and monetary value tolerance ( Fornell et al. , 1996 ) .

2.4.4 Macro applications of the NCQR method

The National Centre for Quality Research methodological analysis was used foremost by the Swedish

Customer Satisfaction Barometer ( SCSB ) in 1989 ( Fornell, 1992 ) . Although many

single companies and some industries had measured client satisfaction, this was

the first clip a state had done so ( Fornell, 1992 ) .

A farther development of the cumulative and aggregative market attack is the American

Customer Satisfaction Index ( ACSI ) that was foremost developed in 1982, tested, further

modified and implemented by Fornell, Johnson, Anderson, Cha and Everitt-Bryant in

1995 ( Fornell et al. , 1996 ) . The ACSI is the macro face of the NCQR methodological analysis ;

alternatively of covering with an single company, it is a national economic index of

client ratings of the quality of goods and services of the major corporations in

the peculiar economic system. The development of the ASCI theoretical account is based on aggregative

market relationships between underlying client features such as perceived

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quality, perceived value, customization, dependability, client outlooks and monetary value

tolerance ( Fornell et al. , 1996 ) .

The World Quality Council ( WQC ) , the international extremum quality organic structure, has been

considering on methods by which quality could be measured across, dissimilar

merchandises, services and states. In 1997, the Secretary General of the WQC

recommended that the member states develop their ain Customer Satisfaction

steps based on the NCQR from the Business School of the University of Michigan

( WQC, 1997 ) .

2.4.5 Micro applications of the NCQR method

The NCQR methodological analysis that is used for the SCSB and the ACSI can be customised for

application at the micro or single company degree. This is done by carry oning initial

qualitative research by non directing interviews with clients and staff to find

the drivers of client satisfaction and the economic effects of the satisfaction

that are alone to that company. From this a preliminary theoretical account of the client

satisfaction, client generated drivers of satisfaction are constructed and grouped into

latent variables. These latent variables impact to assorted grades onto the overall

satisfaction. Changes in the overall satisfaction affect the economic effects or

results of monetary value tolerance and trueness in footings of re-purchase and recommendation to

others.

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From the study consequences, it is possible to gauge the fiscal effects of alterations

in the satisfaction drivers through factors such as quality enterprises. See subdivision 3.3.4.2

( p. 56 ) for a elaborate treatment on the methodological analysis.

2.5 Medical Care Satisfaction Literature

2.5.1 The importance of satisfied patients

The generalized branchings of satisfaction that apply to other clients were besides

found in medical patients. Patients that were satisfied were more likely to return to a

peculiar physician or infirmary, less likely to go forth private wellness insurance, and less likely

to action of carelessness ( Ware and Hays, 1988 ; Stelber and Krowinski, 1990 ; Weiss and

Senf, 1990 ; Aharony and Strasser, 1993 ; Levinson et al. , 1997 ) . Satisfied patients were

besides more compliant with their medical therapy and as a consequence had better clinical

results ( Greenfield, 1985 ; Rubin, 1989 ; Kaplan, Greenfield and Ware, 1989 ; Hauck,

1990 ; DiMatteo et al. , 1993 ) .

Welch et Al. ( 1999 ) argued that patient perceptual experience of wellness attention quality reflected

underlying satisfaction with attention. They suggested that patient satisfaction was as

of import as any other result of medical attention, peculiarly in the aged population.

Thomas ( 1998 ) asserted that patient satisfaction was a critical variable in any

computation of quality or value of medical services. He observed that the scientific discipline of

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31

medical specialty was the proficient side while the art of medical specialty was the patient satisfaction

side.

2.5.2 Determinants of patient satisfaction

Many factors have been reported as act uponing patient satisfaction with medical attention.

They include:

Age – Older patients tended to be more satisfied with their medical attention ( DiMatteo and

Hays, 1980 ) . The research workers suggested that this may hold been due to the patients ‘

longer than mean relationship clip with their attention suppliers.

Gender – Lieberman ( 1989 ) found that adult females had higher satisfaction degrees than work forces.

This contrasted with the earlier work of Gray ( 1980 ) and Greenley and Schoenherr

( 1981 ) that found no gender prejudice in satisfaction.

Income – Many surveies found that affluent patients are more satisfied than hapless patients

( Chaska, 1980 ; Patrick, Scrivens and Charlton, 1983 ; Calnan, 1988 ) . They suggested

grounds such as poorer patients received less continuity of physicians, less healthy

infirmaries and paid a proportionally more for medical prescriptions.

Cost – Sing ( 1990 ) found utilizing factor analysis that satisfaction with a medical insurance

supplier tended to be really independent dimension from satisfaction with medical attention

suppliers. That is, the patients could rate the medical attention extremely while holding low

satisfaction with their medical insurance suppliers and frailty versa.

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32

Race – Murray-Garcia et Al. ( 2000 ) found important differences in the degree of

satisfaction different racial and cultural groups reported with medical attention suppliers.

They found that Blacks reported the highest satisfaction, followed by White persons while

Asiatics tend to describe lower degrees. However, the group was diffident if this reflected

higher outlooks or differences in quality of attention.

Staff – Many surveies on medical services reported factors associating to staff as holding the

most impact both on overall satisfaction and on inclination to urge the service to

others ( Quint and Fergusson, 1997 ; Garney, 1998 ; Press and Garney, 1998 ; Weinsing et

Al. ; 1998, Brown et al. , 1999 ) . The exact description of what facets of the

interpersonal interface were the most of import varied greatly depending on the survey.

Five and Fergusson ( 1997 ) in their survey of patients of Victorian public infirmaries

found that the cardinal drivers of really high patient satisfaction were communicating facets,

compassion, reassuring attitude, courtesy and handiness of staff. Imperativeness and Garney

( 1998 ) reported that staff sensitiveness to the jobs of the patient was the most

of import influence in recommendation of that infirmary to others. The lesser of import

interpersonal factors found were, staff concern about patient privateness, nurse ‘s attitude

toward being summoned and friendliness of nurses. Weinsing et Al. ( 1998 ) found that

“ informativeness ” and “ humaneness ” were among the factors most frequently cited as

of import to patients. Garney ( 1999 ) found that the issues most act uponing the

likeliness of a patient urging a infirmary were, staff sensitiveness to the

incommodiousness that wellness jobs can do, staff concern for patient privateness, sum

of attending paid to patients particular demands, grade to which nurses took patients wellness

job earnestly, nurses attitude towards being called and the friendliness of the

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33

nurses. Dale and Howanitz ( 1996 ) found run intoing an outstanding employee was

correlated with higher satisfaction rates.

Some writers believed that the patient ‘s rating of the communicating accomplishments of their

handling clinician was a critical determiner of patient satisfaction ( Rowland-Morin and

Carroll, 1990 ; Hall et al. , 1994 ; Frederickson, 1995 ; Roter et al. , 1997 ) . Brown et Al.

( 1999 ) found that patient satisfaction did non increase after a short preparation session on

communicating accomplishments for general practicians. They suggested that such accomplishments developing

plans might necessitate to be longer and learn a broader scope of accomplishments to hold an consequence

on patient satisfaction.

Response – Promptness of response to name button was found by Press and Garney

( 1998 ) to be of importance to infirmary patients. Garney ( 1999 ) found this besides

influenced the likeliness of a patient urging a infirmary. Time waiting for

admittance was found to be a factor by Quint and Fergusson ( 1997 ) . Dale and Howanitz

( 1996 ) besides found that shorter waiting times were correlated with higher satisfaction

rates in patients.

Clinical Skill – Patients find it hard to measure the clinical accomplishment of medical

suppliers ( Berry, 1995 ) . Five and Fergusson ( 1997 ) stated that the proficient accomplishments of

medical staff are assumed to be high and it was the “ personality ” facets of a infirmary,

which appeared to play a greater axial rotation in patient satisfaction. Other surveies found clinical

accomplishment to be of import. Baker ( 1991 ) established that quality of medical attention was one

determinate of patient satisfaction with their general practician. Dale and Howanitz

( 1996 ) found that professional intervention and uncomfortableness less than expected, correlated

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34

with higher satisfaction rates. Weinsing et Al. ( 1998 ) reported that patients frequently cited

competency and truth as of import in their satisfaction with a general practician.

Garney ( 1999 ) found that the proficient accomplishment of nurses influenced the likeliness of a

patient urging a infirmary.

Other Determinates – Other factors that patients found influenced their satisfaction

with their general practician were handiness, continuity, handiness, premises

where patients were involved in determinations, clip for attention, handiness and handiness

( Baker, 1991 ; Baker and Streatfield, 1995 ; Weinsing et al. , 1998 ) .

In respect to infirmaries engagement of the patient in determinations, equal information

about intervention, less injections, quality of repasts, overall sunniness of the Hospital

were found to act upon satisfaction and the likeliness of a patient urging a

infirmary ( Dale and Howanitz, 1996 ; Quint and Fergusson, 1997 ; Garney, 1999 ) .

Overall Satisfaction

The patient ‘s overall satisfaction with attention is influenced by their medical result

( O’Connor et al. , 1999 ) . As discussed above interpersonal factors play a of import function.

Lumley, Brown and Small ( 1993 ) suggested that there was a inclination for patients to be

noncritical of wellness attention workers, peculiarly instantly after the event. This possibly

would take to high satisfaction tonss if clients were surveyed instantly after

their experience.

The high satisfaction normally found when mensurating patient ‘s rating of medical

attention caused jobs in construing studies ( Stelber, 1988 ) . As an illustration, Quint and

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35

Fergusson ‘s ( 1997 ) study of Victorian Hospital recorded high degrees of satisfaction.

Five and Fergusson found that in respect to overall satisfaction, 76 % of patients were

“ really satisfied ” and 20 % “ reasonably satisfied ” . A high 96 % of patients said they would

urge the infirmary to friends and household. In footings of perceptual experience of the quality of

attention, 55 % rated it as excellent, 32 % as really good and 10 % as good.

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2.6 Ambulance Customer Satisfaction Literature

2.6.1 Australian ambulance satisfaction surveies

The literature shows high satisfaction with Australian ambulance services. However,

none of the publically reported Australia ambulance satisfaction studies are straight

comparable to the proposed ACSI methods.

Patterson ‘s ( 1996 ) study of the patients transported by the Queensland Ambulance

Service ( QAS ) used the top-box method. She reported that of the 903 responses, 80 %

rated QAS as first-class and 17 % as good.

North West Region – Ambulance Service Victoria ‘s ( NWR-ASV ) ( 1998 ) study

reported a 99 % affirmatory response to the yes / no inquiry “ was the patient satisfied

with the overall service provided? ” The writer so felt the demand to indicate out that the

individual “ no ” ballot was received from a patient being transferred between psychiatric

establishments. Both studies reported good response to questionaries via mail, Patterson

( 1996 ) , reported a 45.2 % return rate among a cohort of transported patients that

included 95 % endorsers. NWR-ASV ( 1998 ) had a 37 % return rate after trying

every ten percent instance it responded to in October 1998. This high response rate is echoed in

the USA where Fultz, Coyle and Reynolds ( 1998 ) reported a 61 % response rate to a

mail study of 400 medical patients transported by air ambulance.

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37

The NWR-ASV ( 1998 ) study questionnaire was generated from unspecified research

on patient studies that other ambulance services had used along with input from the

ambulance service ‘s direction squad. Patterson ( 1996 ) did non province how the

inquiries for her study were chosen. Table 1 ( below ) displays a comparing of the

issues measured by the two studies. It can be seen that the two studies examined

similar issues apart from Patterson ‘s focal point on ailment handling. The study

instrument used in this thesis can be found in Appendix I.

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