CAHPS Cancer Care Survey

The CAHPS® Cancer Care Survey assesses the experiences of adult patients with cancer treatment provided in outpatient and inpatient settings, including:

  • Independent community oncology practices.
  • Cancer centers at community hospitals.
  • Cancer centers at academic medical centers (including those designated as comprehensive cancer centers by the National Cancer Institute (NCI)).

The survey consists of three parallel instruments specific to the major treatment modalities: radiation oncology, medical oncology, and cancer surgery. All three instruments build on the CAHPS Clinician & Group Survey to capture aspects of the experience of care that are important to patients who received cancer treatment and for which these patients are the best source of information.

The main purpose of the CAHPS Cancer Care Survey is to support the efforts of cancer centers, oncology practices, hospitals, and health systems to improve the patient-centeredness of cancer care. The information from this survey could also inform decisions made by providers, patients and their families, accrediting organizations, and payers.

Get the Cancer Care Survey and Instructions

Download the CAHPS Cancer Care Survey (ZIP, 4 MB) to get the English and Spanish survey instruments in both Word and PDF and guidance on administering this survey and using its results. Information in the guidance documents is based on the survey developers' extensive research into best practices in survey design and administration as well as analyses of data collected during the field testing of each instrument. AHRQ does not require the use of a specific methodology for sampling or survey administration.

For quick access to the survey and recommended administration methods:

Users of this survey may also want to consult the following guidance:

Quality Measures From the Cancer Care Survey

This survey generates the following measures of patient experience with cancer care:

  • Getting timely appointments, care, and information (composite measure).
  • How well the cancer care team communicates with patients (composite measure).
  • Cancer care team’s use of information to coordinate patient care (composite measure).
  • Helpful, courteous, and respectful office staff (composite measure).
  • Cancer care team supports patients in managing the effects of their cancer and treatment (composite measure).
  • Cancer care team is available to provide information when needed (composite measure).
  • Involvement of family members and friends (single-item measure).
  • Availability of interpreters (single-item measure).
  • Patients' rating of the cancer care team (single-item measure).
  • Patients’ rating of overall cancer care (single-item measure).

Review measures from the CAHPS Cancer Care Survey.

These measures expand on the measures from the CAHPS Clinician & Group Survey. One key benefit of maintaining the measures from the Clinician & Group Survey is that users of the Cancer Care Survey can compare the scores for those measures to the benchmarks available in the CAHPS Clinician & Group Survey Database.

Supplemental Items for the Cancer Care Survey

The Cancer Care Survey includes several optional, supplemental items that survey sponsors may add to the core questionnaire to gather additional information about the following topics:

Brief History

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality released the CAHPS Cancer Care Survey in November 2016. The survey was developed and tested by the American Institutes for Research and the Mayo Clinic with funding from AHRQ, the Outcomes Research Branch of the National Cancer Institute, and the California Health Care Foundation. Learn about the development of the CAHPS Cancer Care Survey.

Page last reviewed October 2018
Page originally created February 2017
Internet Citation: CAHPS Cancer Care Survey. Content last reviewed October 2018. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD.
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