Title: Determinants of satisfaction and dissatisfaction among preventive and curative medical tourists: a comparative analysis

Authors: Babu P. George, Tony L. Henthorne, Alvin J. Williams

Addresses: The University of Southern Mississippi, 118 College Drive, #5176, Hattiesburg, MS 39406-0001, USA. ' William F. Harrah College of Hotel Administration, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, 4505 Maryland Parkway, Box 456023, Las Vegas, NV 89154-6023, USA. ' Mitchell College of Business, University of South Alabama, 307 University Blvd., Mobile, AL 36688, USA

Abstract: The burgeoning global medical tourism market now demands a more sophisticated approach to market analysis and subsequent market segmentation. The current paper offers a systemic view of medical tourism, with primary focus on the antecedents of customer satisfaction levels, ultimately leading to stronger strategic and operational marketing programmes for practitioners. As global marketers seek to capitalise on the growth in medical tourism, it is instructive to better understand the determinants of satisfied experiences. Thus, the paper posits hypotheses integrating the concepts of customer satisfaction and medical tourism. Through survey methods, findings indicate that preventive medical tourists achieve satisfaction from the performance level of ancillary tourist services and dissatisfaction from the less than satisfactory performance of medical services. Concomitantly, curative medical tourists achieve satisfaction from superior medical services and dissatisfaction from inferior delivery of tourist services. In addition to offering strong managerial implications, the study also provides a discussion of theoretical expansions based on the findings.

Keywords: medical tourism; medical tourists; curative medicine; preventive medicine; allopathic medical care; alternative medical care; India; two-factor theory; customer satisfaction; dissatisfaction; market analysis; market segmentation; systemic views; strategic marketing; operational marketing; medical practitioners; global marketers; determinants; satisfied experiences; performance levels; ancillary services; hospitals; inferior delivery; tourist services; behavioural research; healthcare research.

DOI: 10.1504/IJBHR.2010.037077

International Journal of Behavioural and Healthcare Research, 2010 Vol.2 No.1, pp.5 - 19

Available online: 23 Nov 2010 *

Full-text access for editors Access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article