Caregivers' experiences and satisfaction with physicians and medical services provided to geriatric patients are reported. An outstanding predictor of satisfaction with physician communication and overall patient care was the extent to which caregivers were experiencing role strain. Other significant predictors included caregiver knowledge of clinic and social support services provided to patients. The data suggest that, irrespective of the quality of clinic services and physician communication style, some caregivers will be dissatisfied because their encounter is mediated by the stress of activities separate from the medical encounter. We assert the importance of specialized geriatric services and argue that if these services are not in place, caregiver satisfaction with the overall medical encounter will likely be much lower.

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