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Support Care Cancer. 2013 Nov;21(11):2983-90. doi: 10.1007/s00520-013-1872-x. Epub 2013 Jun 13.

Patients' and professionals' evaluations of quality of care in oncology outpatient clinics.

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Community Health Sciences Department, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Université de Sherbrooke, Longueuil, QC, Canada,



The purpose of this study is to compare patients' and professionals' evaluations of the quality of care in oncology outpatient clinics.


The data were drawn from a 2011 survey of 1,379 patients and 155 professionals conducted in 15 % of oncology outpatient clinics in Quebec, Canada. Respondents completed self-administered questionnaires that addressed the aspects of timeliness (TIM), patient-centred care (PCC), communication (COM), quality of the physical environment (QPE), and continuity (CONT). Patients' and professionals' mean scores (maximum = 4) for each aspect were compared using mixed model analysis.


Patients' and professionals' perceptions of quality of care were largely positive, with mean scores for all items of 3.66 and 3.37, respectively. However, for the majority of aspects of quality, the professionals' scores were lower than those of patients. The aspects rated most positively by both groups were PCC, COM and CONT. Timeliness was the least positively evaluated, with mean scores of 3.34 for patients and 3.16 for professionals.


In many respects, cancer patients and professionals share relatively common views about the most and least positive aspects of the quality of care, although professionals tend to be more critical. Aspects evaluated less favourably by both groups and those on which opinions differ are good candidates for improvements. Some ideas for solutions are proposed. Positive patient feedback is especially important in cancer care, where attraction and retention of professionals is a key concern.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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