Determinants of patient satisfaction during receipt of radiation therapy

Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2013 Sep 1;87(1):148-52. doi: 10.1016/j.ijrobp.2013.05.020.


Purpose: To evaluate the correlations and relative contributions of components of a radiation oncology-specific patient satisfaction survey to their overall satisfaction scores.

Methods and materials: From September 2006 through August 2012, we prospectively collected data from 8069 patients receiving radiation treatments with a 26-question survey. Each question was rated on a 10-point Likert scale. We analyzed the correlation between scores for each question and the overall satisfaction question. We also dichotomized the scores to reflect satisfaction versus dissatisfaction and used logistic regression to assess the relationship between items in 4 domains (the patient-provider relationship, access and environmental issues, wait times, and educational information) and overall satisfaction.

Results: Scores on all questions correlated with overall patient satisfaction scores (P<.0001). Satisfaction with patient-provider relationships had the greatest influence on overall satisfaction (R(2)=0.4219), followed by wait times (R(2)=0.4000), access/environment (R(2)=0.3837), and patient education (R(2)=0.3700). The specific variables with the greatest effect on patient satisfaction were the care provided by radiation therapists (odds ratio 1.91) and pain management (odds ratio 1.29).

Conclusions: We found that patients' judgment of provider relationships in an outpatient radiation oncology setting were the greatest contributors to their overall satisfaction ratings. Other measures typically associated with patient satisfaction (phone access, scheduling, and ease of the check-in process) correlated less strongly with overall satisfaction. These findings may be useful for other practices preparing to assess patient ratings of quality of care.

MeSH terms

  • Aftercare
  • Data Collection
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / psychology
  • Neoplasms / radiotherapy*
  • Nursing Care
  • Pain Management
  • Patient Care Team
  • Patient Satisfaction*
  • Professional-Patient Relations*
  • Radiation Oncology