Background Satisfaction with services has been considered vital for the provision of quality health care, however, there are few published papers utilizing patient satisfaction with nutrition services as a measurable outcome.
Method A randomized, controlled trial investigating the impact of nutrition intervention (NI) vs. usual care (UC) in 54 ambulatory oncology patients receiving radiotherapy to the gastrointestinal or head and neck area demonstrated beneficial impacts in terms of body weight, nutritional status, quality of life and bowel health. This study reports the changes in patient satisfaction that were associated with these improved outcomes for patients receiving NI compared with UC. The patient satisfaction with clinical nutrition services questionnaire was used to measure overall satisfaction and satisfaction with four components of nutrition services 12 weeks after patients commenced radiotherapy.
Results Patients receiving NI rated satisfaction higher for staff interpersonal skills (P <0.001), perceived health benefits (P = 0.008), staff presentation skills (P = 0.044) and for overall patient satisfaction with nutrition services (P = 0.002). There were no significant differences between those patients receiving NI or UC for the nutrition supplements factor (P = 0.191).
Conclusions These data suggest that patients receiving NI perceive nutrition as being beneficial and of higher importance to their health than those receiving UC. This may lead to increased compliance with the nutrition prescription and help explain the better outcomes observed in the NI group compared with the UC group. Patient satisfaction with nutrition services should be conducted regularly to act as a quality-control measure and target areas for improvement.