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Keywords:

  • cancer;
  • oncology;
  • breast cancer;
  • satisfaction;
  • physician–patient concordance

Abstract

Objective: The purpose of this report is to extend the current understanding of patient satisfaction by examining expectations of a sample of breast cancer patients and concordance with their medical oncologists about the content of consultations and the importance of consultation items.

Methods: Three hundred and ninety-five female early stage breast cancer patients of 56 oncologists participated. Patients and oncologists completed a matched questionnaire measuring (a) met expectations, (b) concordance over content and item importance, and (c) satisfaction.

Results: Overall patient satisfaction was extremely high (x=91/100%) although expectations were not met at the stated level desired. Patients and physicians disagreed over what was conveyed and received. Higher overall satisfaction was predicted by levels of met expectations (unstandardized beta=0.69, p=0.008, SE=0.26) and concordance over (a) content (unstandardized beta=1.09, p=0.002, SE=0.34) and (b) importance (unstandardized beta=−0.78, p=0.006, SE 0.28).

Conclusion: Although patient expectations were not well met and physician–patient discord was high about the content of consultations and the importance of consultation items, patients reported high levels of satisfaction. Expectation fulfillment and levels of concordance predicted satisfaction. Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.