Open Access Open Badges Research article

A longitudinal analysis of patient satisfaction with care and quality of life in ambulatory oncology based on the OUT-PATSAT35 questionnaire

Thanh Vân France Nguyen36*, Amélie Anota36, Anne Brédart4, Alain Monnier2, Jean-François Bosset1 and Mariette Mercier35

Author Affiliations

1 Radiotherapy Department, Besançon University Hospital, Besançon 25030, France

2 Radiotherapy Department, Montbéliard Hospital, Montbéliard 25200, France

3 Clinical Research Department, EA 3181, Université de Franche Comté, Besançon 25030, France

4 Psycho-Oncology Unit, Institut Curie, Paris cedex 75 231, France

5 Health-Related Quality of Life in Oncology Platform, Cancéropole Grand Est, Strasbourg University Hospital Haute Pierre, Strasbourg 67098, France

6 Radiotherapy Department, Gustave Roussy Cancer Center, 114 Rue Edouard Vaillant, 94805 Cedex Villejuif, France

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BMC Cancer 2014, 14:42  doi:10.1186/1471-2407-14-42

Published: 25 January 2014



In the oncology setting, there has been increasing interest in evaluating treatment outcomes in terms of quality of life and patient satisfaction. The aim of our study was to investigate the determinants of patient satisfaction, especially the relationship between quality of life and satisfaction with care and their changes over time, in curative treatment of cancer outpatients.


Patients undergoing ambulatory chemotherapy or radiotherapy in two centers in France were invited to complete the OUT-PATSAT35, at the beginning of treatment, at the end of treatment, and three months after treatment. This questionnaire evaluates patients’ perception of doctors and nurses, as well as other aspects of care organization and services. Additionally, for each patient, socio-demographic and clinical characteristics, and self-reported quality of life data (EORTC QLQ-C30) were collected.


Of the 691 patients initially included, 561 answered the assessment at all three time points. By cross-sectional analysis, at the end of the treatment, patients who experienced a deterioration of their global health reported less satisfaction on most scales (p ≤ 0.001). Three months after treatment, the same patients had lower satisfaction scores only in the evaluation of doctors (p ≤ 0.002). Furthermore, longitudinal analysis showed a significant relationship between a deterioration in global health and a decrease in satisfaction with their doctor and, conversely, between an improvement in global health and an increase in satisfaction on the overall satisfaction scale. Global health at baseline was largely and significantly associated with all satisfaction scores measured at the following assessment time points (p < 0.0001). Younger age (<55 years), radiotherapy (versus chemotherapy) and head and neck cancer (versus other localizations) were clinical factors significantly associated with less satisfaction on most scales evaluating doctors.


Pre-treatment self-evaluated global health was found to be the major determinant of patient satisfaction with care. The subsequent deterioration of global health, during and after treatment, emphasized the decrease in satisfaction scores, mainly in the evaluation of doctors. Early initiatives aimed at improving the delivery of care in patients with poor health status should lead to improved perception of the quality of care received.

Patient satisfaction; Determinants of satisfaction; Quality of life; Ambulatory oncology