Patient assessment of clinical services quality was shown to be an independent predictor of survival for colorectal cancer patients in a study recently published in the Journal of Healthcare Quality, the peer reviewed publication of the National Association for Healthcare Quality (NAHQ).
Seven hundred patients treated for colorectal cancer at three Cancer Treatment Centers of America hospitals completed service quality questionnaires measuring their levels of satisfaction with hospital operations and services, physicians and staff, and contained patient endorsements. Overall patient experience was measured by asking, “Considering everything, how satisfied are you with your overall experience with the institution?”
Survey responses were correlated with median patient survival time from survey completion. The results showed the median survival for “completely satisfied” and “not completely satisfied” patients were 23.1 and 18.8 months, respectively. The median survival for the entire patient cohort was 20.9 months.
Lead author Digant Gupta, MD, MPH, research scientist for Cancer Treatment Centers of America, believes the findings show the importance of patients’ perceptions of the care they receive in extending cancer survival. “When patients feel well cared for and supported, they experience positive emotions that may favorably influence biologically relevant factors, such as enhanced immune function.” He added that the study is the first to report on the association between patient experience with service quality and survival in a large sample of patients with colorectal cancer.
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