Scottish Cancer Patient Experience Survey 2015-16: technical report

Postal survey that was sent to cancer patients who had an inpatient stay or hospital visit as a day case, as well as a cancer diagnosis.

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Survey questionnaire


The survey questionnaire ( Appendix A) was based substantially on the questionnaire used for the most recent (2015) cancer patient experience survey in England. A limited number of changes were made to tailor the questionnaire to Scotland.

English questionnaire as basis

The content of the Scottish survey questionnaire was guided by the survey's Steering Group (the group membership is listed in Appendix F). When it emerged that a revised questionnaire was being developed for the equivalent survey in England, the Steering Group agreed that it would be advantageous to use this as the basis for the Scottish questionnaire. This had the benefit of maximising comparability between the two surveys as well as taking advantage of any learning that colleagues in England had gained from previous versions of their survey.

NHS England very kindly shared draft versions of their survey, allowing the Scottish questionnaire to be developed in tandem with their own.

Differences compared with the English questionnaire

A small number of changes were made to the English questionnaire linked below. The rationale for these changes is explained in Table 1 (below).

(English) National Cancer Patient Experience Survey questionnaire

Table 1: Changes made to the English questionnaire


Reason for change

Question relating to whether patient had been told that they could receive free prescriptions (Q23 in English questionnaire) was removed.

All patients receive free prescriptions in Scotland. This question was therefore not considered relevant.

A number of questions were added which asked: 'did [this aspect of care] take place at the hospital named on the covering letter?' (for example Q8 in Scottish questionnaire).

These questions were included to allow us to verify that different aspects of hospital care took place at the hospital we identified when selecting patients (see Analysis and Reporting chapter).

This allowed us to correctly allocate survey responses, whilst still collecting the maximum data at the national level.

Instead of asking for overall comments at the end of the questionnaire, seven comments boxes were placed throughout the questionnaire. These comments boxes were targeted at specific aspects of their care.

There was significant interest within the survey steering group in the use of freetext comments and the additional information that they could provide.

It was felt that an increased number of targeted comments boxes would provide more useful detail about patients' care and allow greater accuracy in attributing comments to particular aspects of the patient pathway.

Demographic questions

A number of changes were made to the demographic questions.

These were made to bring the questions in line with the approach taken across other Government surveys in Scotland, including the other patient experience surveys.


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