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BackgroundThe quality of cancer care has become a priority for health care systems. The goal of this research was to develop a set of evidence-based quality indicators (QIs) for organization, palliative care, and colorectal, breast, and lung cancers for introducing a system of benchmarking in Spain.MethodsA comprehensive evidence-based literature search was performed to identify potential QIs. An expert panel (the health care quality promotion group) of 9 oncologists identified indicators and evaluated them. A Delphi process involving 58 physicians was used to rank QIs by clinical relevance (validity). The expert panel then evaluated the selected indicators in terms of the feasibility of measuring them in Spanish hospitals, their usefulness for comparisons, their degree of clinical relevance, and their sensitivity to the impact of health care improvements.ResultsFrom the literature review, 99 potential QIs were identified. The Delphi process shortened the list to 72 QIs. A final set of 57 QIs was established by the health care quality promotion group: 12 related to organizational issues, 11 to colorectal cancer, 11 to breast cancer, 12 to lung cancer, and 11 to palliative care. This final set included structure (n=2), process (n=36), and outcome (n=19) indicators.ConclusionsA set of QIs has been developed using a validated Delphi method, meaning that we can be confident of their validity, feasibility, sensitivity, and acceptability. These QIs are to serve as the basis of a strategy for benchmarking across oncology services in Spanish hospitals and should enable us to assure and improve the quality of cancer care.

Original publication




Journal article


Journal of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network : JNCCN

Publication Date





553 - 558


Consorci Hospital General Universitari València, València, Spain


Humans, Neoplasms, Delphi Technique, Aged, Quality Indicators, Health Care, Spain