Analysis of the gap between expectations of service quality and satisfaction with services among inpatients with cancer

Nan Yung Hsu, Wen Chen Tsai, Pei Tseng Kung, Wei Yin Kuo, Chih Yi Chen, Cheng Chieh Lin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose. To analyze the factors associated with the gap between inpatient cancer patients' expectations of medical service quality and their satisfaction with services performed. Methods. We applied the PZB (Parasuraman, Zeithaml, and Berry) gap model, and used a modified SERVQUAL questionnaire to investigate the perception of service quality among 182 inpatient cancer patients in a medical center. The questionnaire consisted of five dimentions (21 items) and patients' characteristics (including predisposing factors, enabling factors and need factors). The related factors affecting the gap between expections and satisfaction were examined using a multiple regression model. Results. We found that the expectations of service quality were higher than the satisfaction in all five dimensions (tangibles, responsiveness, reliability, assurance, empathy); the differences between expectations and satisfaction were significant (p <0.05). Furthermore, the differences between expectations of and satisfaction with 20 of the 21 items were statistically significant (p <0.05). In addition, according to multiple regression analysis, sex, age, commercial medical insurance coverage, duration of disease, and types of cancer significantly affected the differences between expectations and satisfaction of cancer patients undergoing inpatient treatment (p <0.05). Conclusion. Gap analysis and assessment by the SERVQUAL scale can be used to investigate cancer inpatients' perception of service quality. The results of this study could be used as a reference for medical staff to improve the quality of medical services.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)211-219
Number of pages9
JournalMid-Taiwan Journal of Medicine
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Gap analysis
  • Inpatient cancer patient
  • Service quality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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