Patient satisfaction in outpatient cancer care: a prospective survey using The PASQOC® questionnaire
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To examine how outpatient cancer patients assess their cancer care in private oncology practices and day hospitals, and to identify the extent to which staff meet the expectations of their patients.
Private practices (n = 41) and day hospitals (n = 8) in Germany, including 16 “repeater” practices who had already participated in the 2002 Patient Satisfaction and Quality in Oncological Care (PASQOC)® survey.
n = 4,615 patients with cancer. Diagnoses: 25% breast cancer, 21% colorectal cancer, 12% haematologic malignancies, 11% lymphomas; mean age 63.5 years; 57% female; n = 1,639 patients from repeater practices.
The 2004 PASQOC® questionnaire contained 63 problem-oriented items which covered 15 different dimensions of care. Practice staff invited their patients to participate and surveys were mailed to all sampled patients. For statistical analysis, the problem frequency (PF) was calculated for each item.
Of 5,600 patients who received the questionnaire, 4,615 replied (response rate: 82%). The best results were obtained for the dimensions “further support in daily life” (3% PF), “nurses” (5% PF), and “physician-patient-relationship” (8% PF). Potential for improvement was most pronounced for “handling of side effects” (39% PF), “partnership and shared decision making” (30% PF), “side effects” (30% PF) and “communication with other patients” (26% PF). Considerable differences in PFs between practices were observed. Mean results from the 16 repeater practices revealed only few changes compared to the 2002 PASQOC® survey, although some practices had greatly improved their performance.
The PASQOC® questionnaire identified strengths and weaknesses of outpatient care for cancer patients. By providing a comparison with other practices, PASQOC® can help staff of individual practices to improve their performance.
KeywordsOutpatient care 2004 PASQOC® questionnaire Problem frequency-cancer
The authors are indebted to the participating study sites, the dedicated staff, Prof. Mühlig for validation of the questionnaire and in particular the participating patients and their relatives. We thank Prof. Dr. Gratiana Steinkamp, Hannover, who provided medical writing services on behalf of GlaxoSmithKline GmbH & Co. KG, Munich, Germany. This study has been sponsored by GlaxoSmithKline. PASQOC® is a trade mark of GlaxoSmithKline.
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