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Abstract

Satisfaction with treatment is an important early indicator of medical outcome for cancer patients. This study examined patient satisfaction with treatment-planning and follow-up appointments among 58 recently diagnosed ENT and GI cancer patients seen at a multidisciplinary cancer clinic. Patients reported which medical specialties they saw, whether adjuvant treatment was planned, and whether they had a chance to discuss their feelings about the diagnosis. Patients also rated the attention paid by staff to several psychosocial issues considered relevant to cancer. These included how the patient was coping, support services available, and the issue of common emotional reactions to cancer. Patients then rated their overall satisfaction with their clinic visits. Overall satisfaction was predicted by younger age, female gender, and greater attention to how patients were coping with their illness. Having a chance to discuss one's feelings about the diagnosis, and staff attention to other psychosocial issues, also predicted patient satisfaction. The relationship of these psychosocial issues to patient satisfaction did not vary by gender. Results suggest that patient satisfaction may be enhanced when hospital staff attend to and provide for the psychosocial needs engendered by a diagnosis of cancer. Copyright © 2003 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.