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BACKGROUND: We have investigated cancer patient satisfaction with care and the extent to which it varies between and within hospitals. DESIGN AND METHODS: A national survey of cancer patients in England with questions in 10 different dimensions for four common cancers: breast, colorectal, lung and prostate (55,674 patients). We compared hospitals across tumour types, and against the national average. RESULTS: Dissatisfaction was greater (p<0.001) in younger, female patients. Breast cancer patients expressed least, and prostate cancer patients expressed greatest dissatisfaction. Breast, colorectal and prostate cancers showed significant (p<0.001) pair-wise correlations for standardised satisfaction scores, particularly for in-hospital care. Summed hospital satisfaction scores showed significant associations across different dimensions of care. CONCLUSIONS: Cancer patient satisfaction is measurably different between hospitals, as well as by tumour type. For many aspects of care there is evidence of systemic hospital-level factors that influence satisfaction as well as factors common to the care pathways experienced by individual patients. Factors amenable to clinical or managerial intervention deserve further investigation.

Original publication




Journal article


European journal of cancer (Oxford, England : 1990)

Publication Date





1559 - 1565


UCL Clinical Operational Research Unit, Department of Mathematics, London, United Kingdom.


Humans, Neoplasms, Breast Neoplasms, Colorectal Neoplasms, Lung Neoplasms, Prostatic Neoplasms, Hospitalization, Patient Satisfaction, Health Services Accessibility, Quality of Health Care, England, Female, Male