The environment in health care organizations is becoming increasingly competitive.
Therefore, to improve patient return rates, health care organizations need to examine
how to enhance the physician-patient relationship. In particular, the role of patient
gratitude on the physician-patient relationship in health care organizations is still
ambiguous. The specific role of patient gratitude in the medical service industry
needs to be identified. Therefore, this study aimed to investigate physician-patient
interactions with reference to relationship marketing and to further understand the
relationships among relationship quality, patient gratitude, and patient loyalty.
The potential effects of patient gratitude on the physician-patient relationship were
examined by testing mediation effect. The results demonstrated that patient gratitude
had a notable effect on the association between relationship quality and patient loyalty.
To improve the physician-patient relationship in the medical service industry, health
care managements should not ignore the 3 relationship quality tactics perceived by
patients, specially the role of the potential effect of patient gratitude on relational