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BMJ Open. 2012; 2(5): e001437.
Published online 2012 September 28. doi:  10.1136/bmjopen-2012-001437
PMCID: PMC3488707

The Cancer Patient Experiences Questionnaire (CPEQ): reliability and construct validity following a national survey to assess hospital cancer care from the patient perspective



Patient experience questionnaires have been criticised owing to the lack of supporting psychometric evidence. The objective of this study was to describe the development and psychometric evaluation of the Cancer Patient Experiences Questionnaire (CPEQ) in Norway.


Questionnaire development was based on a literature review of existing questionnaires, patient interviews, expert-group consultations, pretesting of questionnaire items and a national survey. Psychometric evaluation included exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis, and tests of internal consistency reliability and test–retest reliability.


Data were collected using a postal survey of cancer patients attending 54 hospitals in all 4 health regions. The subjects were 14 227 adult cancer patients who had attended an outpatient clinic or who had been discharged from an inpatient ward. Patients with all types of cancer were included. Data quality, internal consistency reliability and construct validity were assessed.


Of the 13 846 patients who received the CPEQ, 7212 (52%) responded. Exploratory factor analysis identified six scales of outpatient experiences relating to nurse contact, doctor contact, information, organisation, patient safety and contact with next of kin, and seven scales of inpatient experiences, with the addition of hospital standard to the aforementioned scales. All but two of the scales met the criterion of 0.70 for Cronbach's α testing, and test–retest correlations ranged from 0.57 to 0.85. Confirmatory factor analysis supported the interpretation of six and seven scales for outpatients and inpatients, respectively. Statistically significant associations based on explicit hypotheses provided evidence for the construct validity of the scales. One additional scale measuring the hospital level was identified (α=0.85).


The CPEQ is a self-report instrument that includes the most important aspects of patient experiences with cancer care at hospitals. The instrument was tested following a national survey in Norway; good evidence is provided herein for the internal consistency reliability, test–retest reliability and construct validity.

Keywords: Patient satisfaction, Cancer, Validity and reliability

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