Eligible individuals receive at home an envelope with the invitation letter, the information sheet, the paper questionnaire and a pre-stamped return envelope. The invitation letter contains the ID number and the code needed to complete the questionnaire online.
The SCAPE-1 and SCAPE-2 surveys used the French translation of the English questionnaire « NHS Cancer Patient Experience Survey » adapted to the Swiss context. The questionnaire includes questions on experiences of care before going to hospital for cancer treatment, diagnostic tests, announcement of diagnosis, treatment decisions, care experiences in hospital as an outpatient and during hospitalization (including cancer operations, radiotherapy and chemotherapy), care and support at home, and follow-up after treatment. It also includes a question about the overall satisfaction and a space for free-text comments. The questionnaire finishes with a few questions about health and personal information such as gender and age.
The SCAPE-2 survey also included specific questions about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on cancer care.
The SCAPE-CH survey will use a shorter version of the questionnaire.
To ensure anonymity and confidentiality of data, a coding procedure was implemented. The coding means that the personal information (name, address, date of birth, patient number) is replaced by a 4-digit "code." The data collected with the questionnaire contains this code; it does not contain a name or address. The key to the code (the link between the personal data and the code) is kept in a password-protected document only accessible to the local coordinator of the participating hospital. The questionnaire data is then anonymized (i.e. the document with the key code is destroyed) after the data collection phase. It is then impossible to link answers to a name.
We comply with all data protection guidelines. All surveys are carried out in accordance with the requirements of the Swiss law. The competent cantonal ethics commission has controlled and approved the SCAPE-1 and SCAPE-2 surveys.
SCAPE-1: Of the 7’145 patients invited to participate, 3’121 completed and returned the questionnaire (44% participation rate).
Overall, patient experiences of care were positive with respect to diagnostic tests, contacts with the nurse specialist, operations, and care received during hospitalization and outpatient treatment. Experiences were less positive with regard to written information received at diagnosis, information on side-effects of treatment, psychosocial and financial impacts of cancer, support after treatment and loved ones’ involvement.
SCAPE-2: Of the 6’873 patients invited to participate in the study, 3’220 completed and returned the questionnaire (47% participation rate).
Overall, experiences of care with diagnostic tests were positive, particularly the waiting time between the prescription of an examination and its completion, the usefulness of the tests performed, the trust in hospital staff and the fact that care was provided with respect and dignity. The experience is less positive with respect to information received at diagnosis, support for short- and long-term side effects of treatment and cancer, information about the impact of cancer on daily activities, difficulty finding a staff member to talk about concerns and fears, financial aspects of the disease, and loved ones’ involvement.
Arditi C, et al. Computer-assisted textual analysis of free-text comments in the Swiss Cancer Patient Experiences (SCAPE) survey. BMC Health Services Research. 2020;20(1):1029. doi: 10.1186/s12913-020-05873-4. (Link to article)
Arditi C, et al. Patients' experiences with cancer care in Switzerland: Results of a multicentre cross-sectional survey. European Journal of Cancer Care. 2022;31(6):e13705. doi: 10.1111/ecc.13705. (Link to article)
SCAPE-1 and SCAPE-2 studies were funded by the Swiss Cancer Research.
SCAPE-CH study is partially funded by the Federal Commission for Quality (CFQ).