Assessment of the Quality of Treatment Provided to Oral Cancer Patients in Pakistan: A Multi-Centre Study

  • Beenish Khalil Rana Demonstrator, Department of Periodontology, Islamic International Dental College, Riphah International University, Islamabad, Pakistan
  • Kanwal Sohail Assistant Professor, Department of Oral Medicine, Margalla College of Dentistry, Margalla Institute of Health Sciences, Rawalpindi, Pakistan
  • Amber Kiyani Associate Professor, Department of Oral Medicine, Islamic International Dental College, Riphah International University, Islamabad, Pakistan
Keywords: Continuous Quality Management, Health Care System, Oral Cancer, Psychosocial Support


Objective: To determine the expectation and satisfaction of oral oncology patients with their management by evaluating the quality of patient communication, physical and emotional support and the factors that result in treatment delays.

Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted in multiple oncology centres across Pakistan from 15-July-2020 to 15-October-2020. Seventy patients who had undergone surgical excision for their oral tumours and were receiving radiotherapy or chemotherapy with curative intent filled out a content-validated questionnaire. Patients who had unresectable tumours or were receiving palliative care were excluded.

Results: A total of 70 oral cancer patients were recruited. Fifty-one (72.9%) patients were under treatment for less than 1 month while 19 (27.1%) were being treated for 1 to 3 months. With regards to information needs related to diagnosis, 82.9% were being informed clearly. The majority of patients were satisfied with treatment planning information needs. Regarding the prognosis of cancer; 8 (11.4%) of the patients had to inquire about the prognosis themselves, 14 (20%) were informed by the health care provider and 48 (68.6%) got the information on a mutual basis. For attention to care; 64.3% responded that general practitioner and family both were helpful. The timelines and delays in appointment and referral were reported by 95.7% of patients.

Conclusion: The majority of our patients were satisfied with information needs, communication, personalized care, the responsibility of care, psychosocial support and equitability through their treatment, however, the patients were unsatisfied with coordination, timeliness of care, and attention to care and reimbursement.