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Predictors of overall satisfaction of cancer patients undergoing radiation therapy

Authors Becker-Schiebe M, Pinkert U, Ahmad T, Schäfer C, Hoffmann W, Franz H

Received 28 July 2015

Accepted for publication 9 September 2015

Published 29 September 2015 Volume 2015:9 Pages 1381—1388


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Johnny Chen

Martina Becker-Schiebe,1,2 Uwe Pinkert,1 Tahera Ahmad,1 Christof Schäfer,3 Wolfgang Hoffmann,1 Heiko Franz4

1Department of Radiotherapy and Radio-Oncology, Städtisches Klinikum Braunschweig gGmbH, Braunschweig, 2Radiation Oncology, Hannover Medical School, Hannover, 3Radiation Oncology Straubing, University of Regensburg, Regensburg, 4Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Städtisches Klinikum Braunschweig gGmbH, Braunschweig, Germany

Background: Reporting the experiences and satisfaction of patients, as well as their quality of care scores is an emerging recommendation in health care systems. Many aspects of patients’ experience determine their overall satisfaction. The aim of this evaluation was to define the main factors contributing to the satisfaction of patients undergoing radiotherapy in an outpatient setting.
Patients and methods: A total of 1,710 patients with a histologically proven cancer, who were treated in our department between 2012 and 2014, were recruited for this prospective evaluation. At the end of therapy, each patient was asked to grade the skills and the care provided by radiation therapists, physicians, and physician’s assistants, as well as the overall satisfaction during therapy. Statistical analysis was performed to determine which parameters had the greatest influence on overall satisfaction.
Results: Overall satisfaction with the provided care was high with a mean satisfaction score of 1.4. Significant correlations were found between overall satisfaction and each of the following survey items: courtesy, protection of privacy, professional skills and care provided by the radiation therapists and physicians, accuracy of provided information, and cleanliness. Linear regression analysis demonstrated that courteous behavior and the protection of privacy were the strongest predictors for overall satisfaction (P<0.001), followed by care and skills of physicians and radiation therapists. Patients suffering from head and neck cancer expressed lower overall satisfaction.
Conclusion: Based on our prospectively acquired data, we were able to identify and confirm key factors for patient satisfaction in an outpatient radiooncological cancer center. From these results, we conclude that patients want most importantly to be treated with courtesy, protection of privacy and care.

Keywords: patient satisfaction, radiotherapy, information

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