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Int J Public Health. 2013 Jun;58(3):385-93. doi: 10.1007/s00038-012-0405-6. Epub 2012 Sep 4.

"Tendency to excuse" and patient satisfaction of those suffering with breast cancer.

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Faculty of Human Science and Faculty of Medicine, Institute for Medical Sociology, Health Services Research and Rehabilitation Science, University of Cologne, Eupener Str. 129, 50933, Cologne, Germany.



The purpose of this study was to analyse the extent to which breast cancer patients excuse inconveniences that occur during their hospitalisation, and how this "tendency to excuse" affects their satisfaction with the hospital stay.


Breast cancer patients undergoing treatment at one of 51 breast centres in North Rhine-Westphalia (Germany) in 2009 were asked to complete the Cologne Patient Questionnaire-Breast Cancer (CPQ-BC). For the analyses, the "tendency to excuse" scale was subdivided into three groups. Linear regressions were performed to investigate associations between the "tendency to excuse" and patient satisfaction.


88 % (3,950) of the patients completed the questionnaire. The results show that the inpatients excused inconsistencies to a moderate degree. The "excusers" and "non-excusers" showed greater satisfaction with hospital services than the "medium-excusers".


The "tendency to excuse" scale could aid future data analysis of patient satisfaction surveys by identifying patients who are more likely to answer in an unbiased fashion. According to hospital survey outcomes, adjusting for the "tendency to excuse" scale however, does not lead to substantially different results when comparing health care providers.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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