Consumer satisfaction is generally defined as the consumer's view of services received and the results of the treatment. It has been used by program evaluators to enhance health care providers' ability to render services that meet consumers' needs (Sheppard, 1993). However, important methodological concerns have limited the value of consumer satisfaction assessments (Elbeck, 1992). For instance, most satisfaction instruments are simple ad hoc measures. They fail to address satisfaction at any level of specificity, i.e., in terms of particular service recipient groups, treatments, or types of facilities (Lebow, 1983-i).They also do not focus of consumer/patient dissatisfaction. There structure is generally based on issues which health care staff or satisfaction assessors feel are important, rather than on issues that do actually form the major areas of consumer discontent. They generally fail to take into account the relative (weighted) importance of such concerns. In our research scheme such concerns would be controlled by collecting data on consumer dissatisfaction at least on 3-4 parameters.
The term "consumer satisfaction" in health care assessment has been taken in a broad and narrow and narrow sense. Studies using broad definition use general measures like self-perception of changes that have brought about improvements, type of grievances registered, complaints, appreciation treatments, questionnaires assessing suggestions for potential improvements, and specific probes into what is found to be either useful,supefluous or even bad. Studies based on a narrow definition are "...all inquiries into both the felt adequacy of treatment and of surrounding milieu: specific aspects may include reactions to the quality of care, to its helpfulness, its cost and continuity, the availability and accessibility of the practitioner, and the reaction to supporting services" (Lebow, 1983-ii). The research scheme being suggested below would have a mix of broad and narrow concerns.
Research methods normally concern the ways by which research objectives are sought to be probed and approached. Any probe is normally dependent upon the data collected from the investigated site(s). In the present scheme measurement of consumer satisfaction is the primary object and primary investigation site is the Gwynedd Hospital. After having delineated important activities which matter to customers, following data collection techniques would be utilized to collect both quantitative and qualitative data:
(a) Face to face interview with