, Volume 6, Issue 6, pp 518-523

A comprehensive assessment of satisfaction with care for cancer patients

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The present paper reports on the initial development of a comprehensive questionnaire for assessing cancer patients' perception of the quality of care received in the oncology hospital. This questionnaire is primarily intended to evaluate interventions aimed at improving quality of life and focuses on patients' interactions with doctors and nurses. The current questionnaire includes 61 items assessing doctors' and nurses' technical competence, communication skills, interpersonal qualities, and availability; aspects of the hospital environment and treatment planning; and general satisfaction. Most items refer to an aspect of care rated on a five-point Likert scale from "Poor" to "Excellent". Additionally, each aspect of care is also evaluated by a dichotomous (yes/no) question on the patient's wish (or not) for its improvement. This questionnaire is the result of consecutive pilot tests (from April 1994 to September 1995). Analysis of patients' comments, items that patients omitted to respond to and score distributions have identified items needing to be rephrased, reworded, eliminated or placed in specific sections. Items showing low scores or acceptable score distributions have been stressed as appropriate for inclusion in the final questionnaire version.