Objective A short questionnaire which can be applied for assessing patient satisfaction in different contexts and different countries is to be developed. Methods Six items addressing tangibles, reliability, responsiveness, assurance, empathy, and communication were analysed. The first five items stem from SERVQUAL (SERVice QUALity), the last stems from the discussion about SERVQUAL. The analyses were performed with data from 12 surveys conducted in six different countries (England, Finland, Germany, Greece, the Netherlands, Spain) covering two different conditions (type 2 diabetes, stroke). Sample sizes for included participants are 247 in England, 160 in Finland, 231 in Germany, 152 in Greece, 316 in the Netherlands and 96 in Spain for the diabetes surveys; and 101 in England, 139 in Finland, 107 in Germany, 58 in Greece, 185 in the Netherlands, and 92 in Spain for the stroke surveys. The items were tested by (1) bivariate correlations between the items and an item addressing ‘general satisfaction’, (2) multivariate regression analyses with ‘general satisfaction’ as criterion and the items as predictors, and (3) bivariate correlations between sum scores and ‘general satisfaction’. Results The correlations with ‘general satisfaction’ are 0.48 for tangibles, 0.56 for reliability, 0.58 for responsiveness, 0.47 for assurance, 0.53 for empathy, and 0.56 for communication. In the multivariate regression analysis, the regression coefficient for assurance is significantly negative while all other regression coefficients are significantly positive. In a multivariate regression analysis without the item ‘assurance’ all regression coefficients are positive. The correlation between the sum score and ‘general satisfaction’ is 0.608 for all six items and 0.618 for the finally remaining five items. The country specific results are similar. Conclusions The five items which remain after removing ‘assurance’, i.e. the SERVQUAL-MOD-5, constitute a short patient satisfaction index which can usefully be applied for different medical conditions and in different countries.